The Matches – Live From The House of Blues

The Matches – Live From The House of Blues / 2004 Kung Fu / /

Starting out their concert with “Dog Eared Page”, The Matches play each track with the energy and talent that was so present on “E. Von Dahl Killed The Locals”. 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 Vandals’ “Show Must Go Off”. The sound as has been previously mentioned is perfect – 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 “Dog Eared Page” is imbued with a fat tempo and infectious beat, the two following tracks, “The Jack Slap Cheer” and “Eryn Smith” are more sedate and even with the latter’s scaled guitar-assault, slightly lacking. The nuances of the guitar during “The Restless” are faithfully reproduced on this live disc, which really puts more faith in the band for me – 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 “Destination Nowhere” 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 “Destination Nowhere” and figures in prominently to “December Is For Cynics”, pushing the track forward at any juncture. The DVD shows its age when it is mentioned that “December” is going to be on a compilation coming out a month from then – putting this footage at October or November of 2003 (at a second glance, Yahoo puts the performance on October 21, 2003). The breakdown from “December” is as brooding and influential in tempering the rest of the track. “December” is the one Achilles heel for the band – the intense and difficult time signatures by all members of the band prove difficult for the band to reproduce live. Choosing to have “Sick Little Suicide” end the set was pure genius, and make this DVD essential for consumption.

During “Sick Little Suicide”, 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

Rating: 6.8/10

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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