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West for Wishing - EP

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Album Review

The West for Wishing EP is Matchbook Romance's debut for Epitaph, who signed the upstate New York band after hearing their demo online. The newfound exposure also led to a name change — Matchbook Romance used to be known as the Getaway, but Epitaph put the kibosh on that moniker, as it was already in use. Matchbook Romance's debut places the band at a crossroads. Vocalists/guitarists Andrew Jordan and Judas Depaolo aren't as cry baby-ish as most emo in the wake of the genre's popular breakthrough. But neither is the racket they and Ryan Kienle (bass) and Aaron Stern (drums) create angry or tough enough to be hardcore. Producer/mixer (and Epitaph owner/Bad Religion frontman) Brett Gurewitz has groomed tracks like "14 Balloons" and "Farewell to Friends" to feature both the plaintive and the powerful. Lyrics like "The stars, they lay across the sky perfectly/It's our last night together" are finger-down-throat gagworthy, but Stern's muscular percussion and the spiraling, crashing guitars definitely aren't. This EP is a teaser for an eventual Epitaph full-length that should better align Matchbook Romance's stage-burning musical chops with its sappy songwriting.


Formed: 1997 in Poughkeepsie, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Matchbook Romance is a melodic hardcore unit from Poughkeepsie, NY. The band started in 1997 when bassist Ryan Kienle, vocalist/guitarist Andrew Jordan, and drummer Aaron Stern's band, Fizzlewink, added guitarist Ryan "Judas" DePaolo and became the Getaway. All computer-savvy, the bandmembers hit the Internet hard, designing their own website and using it for shameless promotion of their wildly emotional take on crashing, midtempo hardcore. The band gained exposure through listings on unsigned band...
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West for Wishing - EP, Matchbook Romance
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