A sparse track, reminding you of a winter walks through forest, with Andrew Jordan’s melodic vocals, backed up with an lone acoustic guitar, are as heart-warming as stumbling across a fire lit house in the forest.
One by one each member of the band enters that house, building up to a crashing and well-crafted close.
Second offering is an acoustic version of “Playing for Keeps” taken from their recent release “Stories and Alibis”.
This song is even more well-crafted if that were possible, as the perfectly tuneful guitars and vocals fit together like a jigsaw, and the lyrics to produce a story of a girl who causes no end of trouble, but who the guy cannot turn away. With mostly acoustic suited and sometimes poetic lyrics, Matchbook Romance shows they have not entirely lost their emo attitude:
“You’re as welcome as cancer, but my door is always unlocked”
Backed up with chugging guitars, Matchbook Romance take acoustic to the edge and inject a punk drive, whilst maintaining the melodic idea.
The band end on a scathing note, asking, “Are we playing for keeps?” Injecting a note of hope and emotion, and crying out for her to make an effort too.
Then comes the turn of Motion City Soundtrack to show us what they can do, and opener “When You’re Around,” layered with powerful guitar chords, but with Justin Pierre’s vocals seemingly more suited to electric punk, the well-crafted guitar hooks are sadly drowned out. Lyrically catchy, with the chorus sticking in your head inevitably, suited to punk-pop but with direct moments that show they have also not lost their attitude:
“No I cant fuckin stand it, when you’re around”
It must be the start of a beautiful romance.
“Sunday Warning” shows the vocals slightly mellowed down, but still slightly too strong for the acoustic idea, and musically alternates melodic moments with loud, getting as near to electric punk as you can get acoustically.
The stronger band is Matchbook Romance, who turns their powerful sound acoustic as though this is what they do every day. Motion City Soundtrack seems uncomfortable with the idea, as they end with a squealing amp sound and plug their acoustic guitars to the max.
This idea works very well, and is a great opportunity for those who haven’t yet had the chance to try this fresh talent, and for existing fans to catch a glimpse of another side to their favourite bands. However depending on tastes you will love one and Motion City Soundtrack are not out of the running by all means.