The Matches â€“ Live From The House of Blues / 2004 Kung Fu / http://www.thematches.com / http://www.kungfurecords.com/
Starting out their concert with â€œDog Eared Pageâ€, The Matches play each track with the energy and talent that was so present on â€œE. Von Dahl Killed The Localsâ€. The print looks pretty dark, and while the venue is only using a bank of lights in which to illuminate the band, the light was not an issue during The Vandalsâ€™ â€œShow Must Go Offâ€. The sound as has been previously mentioned is perfect â€“ sounding more like another LP, this is a major step in the quality of the DVD from The Vandals to The Matches. However, the set list leaves a little to be desired. While â€œDog Eared Pageâ€ is imbued with a fat tempo and infectious beat, the two following tracks, â€œThe Jack Slap Cheerâ€ and â€œEryn Smithâ€ are more sedate and even with the latterâ€™s scaled guitar-assault, slightly lacking. The nuances of the guitar during â€œThe Restlessâ€ are faithfully reproduced on this live disc, which really puts more faith in the band for me â€“ not the result of three or four different passes by the band, the rich song is captured by this four-piece.
The bass comes into its light during the ska-punk attack that is â€œDestination Nowhereâ€ and is moderated perfectly, aided by a set of vocals and at odds with the high hat. Influenced by fellow labelmate Matt Freeman, Justin San Souci incorporates a Rancid-feel to â€œDestination Nowhereâ€ and figures in prominently to â€œDecember Is For Cynicsâ€, pushing the track forward at any juncture. The DVD shows its age when it is mentioned that â€œDecemberâ€ is going to be on a compilation coming out a month from then â€“ putting this footage at October or November of 2003 (at a second glance, Yahoo puts the performance on October 21, 2003). The breakdown from â€œDecemberâ€ is as brooding and influential in tempering the rest of the track. â€œDecemberâ€ is the one Achilles heel for the band â€“ the intense and difficult time signatures by all members of the band prove difficult for the band to reproduce live. Choosing to have â€œSick Little Suicideâ€ end the set was pure genius, and make this DVD essential for consumption.
During â€œSick Little Suicideâ€, the sizzling guitar solo is paired alongside an equally intense bass line, comparing nicely to the dual-vocals of the track. While the lights might be a little low during the entirety of the DVD, the sound is beyond comparable and makes up for any other weaknesses found on it.
Top Tracks: Sick Little Suicide, December Is For Cynics