Hard Rock band Matchstickmen just released their new album From Our Own Ashes, a combination of some of their older re-recorded tracks and brand new tunes. Hailing from Liverpool, the band have been making headway, opening for Electric Six, The Quireboys and Taking Dawn. Lewis Wright’s rough vocals complement the driving rhythm section of Iain Forsyth and Dave Hornby, with the infectious guitar solos of Peter Donnelly to round off their sound. With some changes in their future, including renaming the band to Attic Theory, these guys are sure to grow into great artists.
The album started off with a hectic hard rock track called Wake Up Call. There was a lot going on in the verses, which confused me but also could have been purposeful (a jumbled array of sounds could quite literally wake you up very effectively). Cheap Little Thrill employed some catchy ‘badadas’ and gritty melodies in both the guitar and vocals. The next track was a different feel with a quieter sound using vocals, drums (minus loud crashing cymbals), and a touch of bass. Hornby’s drumming was on show in Wrong Side of 30, with a ripping guitar solo from Donnelly to back it up. Imperfection was a little confusing as beats weren’t grouped in a conventional way at first, but once the chorus began the track became more enjoyable with some catchy phrases and hooks.
Different Paths was the first to use the acoustic guitar prominently. However, I felt as though there wasn’t enough of a break between the first chorus and the second verse. Both sounded very similar which would have been great if there was a break between them so they could be distinguished from one another. The next track goes straight back into the band’s signature hard rock style, with simple but effective rhythms that changed in every phrase. Yet another different aspect of their sound was on display in On The Surface, this time indie rock. Not Knowing brought a more syncopated feel, with Donnelly again showing his prowess on the guitar. Numb had the grittiest lyrics on the whole album, with the repetition of ‘you leave me’ a great device to make the song catchy.
I enjoyed how versatile this band is. Although I think there were some things they could have done differently to make their music more effective, they have potential and a natural affinity for songwriting. I give the album 7/10.