“Do you belong to a song?/Does it drag you along by the tongue at the top of your lungs” – Salty Eyes, The Matches.
And so we say goodbye to another band that have made the music scene what it is today, The Matches. Today they announced that they are going on hiatus, which is the nice way of saying that they are breaking up while remaining on good terms. And so we have a catalogue consisting of the some of the best albums out there for us to live with that make The Matches who they are (were?).
Whether it was watching the uber-creative video for “Chain Me Free” on youtube, humming along to the tune of “Salty Eyes”, or jumping around my bedroom at 12 o’ clock at night to “Lazier Than Furniture”, The Matches made me (and many others) who I am today as a critic of music. Before I heard about them and listened to them, bands that looked super-cool and had trendy haircuts ruled my world. Quality was barely existent in what I listened to and it showed (I had a faux-hawk and shopped at Hollister). While some of that musical taste has stayed with me, it is obvious that I have changed a lot in what I have listened to. And I would like to accredit that change to the Matches and how they influenced me.
There is no doubt in my mind that an album such as Decomposer is one of the most innovative albums we have been blessed with in the past decade. There is mountains of tasteless garbage music that we would have to wade through in order to try and fight that statement, and frankly we don’t have the time so just accept it. It is unbelievable that it didn’t catch on and explode all over the world, being as great as it is with big name producers and a strong that was right there to catapult it to the top. It’s a sad fact that this album’s disappointing sales spelled the end for the Matches in a certain sense because it made them question who they were and where exactly they were going.
Thankfully they soldiered on and produced A Band In Hope, a powerful album that actually was the reason I was introduced to the band (through many intriguing advertisements in Alternative Press Magazine). This album became the soundtrack to my life after it was released and accompanied me on morning walks to school every single day (“Wake The Sun”), to late night cross-country road trips to Florida (“AM Tilts”). I am not afraid to say that A Band In Hope is an album that defined who I am today, and that The Matches are my favorite band.
So please, as depressing as it is that this band is potentially going the way of the dodo, it is only appropriate that we celebrate the times we had with them. So go ahead, search up old youtube clips of them playing “Dog-Eared Page” in ’04, or give Decomposer a full spin on your stereo just for old time’s sake. I promise it will be worth it in the end.