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Video: Matchless – Voodoo

MatchlessCanadian phsychobilly act Matchless has premiered a new music video for the song “Voodoo.”  The track appears on their latest full length, Pills & Blades, available now on Falsetto Music Agency.

Watch the video below.

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Video: Matchelss – Voodoo

MatchlessCanadian phsychobilly act Matchless has premiered their a new music video.  The video features the song “Voodoo” and will appears on their latest full length, which dropped last year on Falsetto Music Agency.

Watch the new video below.

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Matchless

Matchless

Pills And Blades

Falsetto Records
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

When Montreal psychobilly greats The Gutter Demons called it quits, Matchless served as somewhat of a spiritual continuation in local style.  Upright bassist Flipper’s legendary contributions made for an experience that helped their debut full length feel more like that of an established psychobilly act than newcomers.  For a first outing, Matchless was set to impress with Randomly Generated Numbers.  Then the Matchless camp fell quiet on new material, and front man Frank put his efforts into establishing Falsetto Music Agency.  Part of this was actually aiding The Gutter Demons in their rise from the ashes, spawning a whole new album, and reclaiming their psychobilly throne.  

So where exactly did this turn of events leave Matchless?  Ready to step out of the shadow of their idols and gass up with a brand wholly as their own!  With the addition of drummer ‘Mad Max,’ and Flipper only occasionally playing live shows (newcomer Carl Upright of The Matadors now fills his shoes in the studio), a new lineup and day has dawned for Matchless.  The result: Pills And Blades, a sophomore full length with plenty of flames and exhaust ready to tear up the psychobilly circuit.

More heavily splicing their psychobilly roots with a hard rock n’ roll core, Matchless make Pills And Blades one hell of a high octane ride.  Peppered with likenesses to Motorhead and Black Sabbath alongside their typical Gutter Demons lineage, the band makes good on their dark, distortion-heavy personae from the get-go.  “Lightbearer” opens as an eerie guitar-only intro with the slow crawling, simple country-twang of clear reverberating chords.  Transitioning directly into the hard-toothed swagger of “Afterbite,” the band lays down a heavy boot stompin tempo propped up with crunching guitar work and thunderous upright bass.  Those previously familiar with Matchless will notice the clear shift to somewhat more punk n’ roll overtones, but any initial discomfort is easily dashed upon the realization that frontman Frank’s performance and songwriting fits this shift better than ever.  His vocalizations range from atmospheric spoken word intros and bridges (“Damn Right”) to aggressive, throaty bouts of anger propped up by “woah-oah” bolstered choruses (“Voodoo”).

Pills And Blades unravels across a full spread of tempos, sustaining interest and engagement across Matchless’ dark toned tracklisting.  The band does a great job of featuring of Carl Upright’s rich bass work without allowing his thumping to entirely dominate the album’s song structure.  For instance, tunes like the title track and “One In A Billion” feel like tried and true psychobilly rompers, whereas those like “Rise” and “King’s Ransom” feature Frank authoritatively growling against a wall of mid-tempo hard rock riffs.  “You’ve got to break out of these chains son,” belts Frank, stepping back with a swagger as they transition to the bass-heavy beat of neighbouring track “Grace.”  And of course the underlying punk influences stand tall in speedily executed, toe-tapping runaways like “Anger Incorporated” and “Thirteen.”  Of particular note, a familiar underlying country twang resonates faintly as in past efforts, shaping the chords of songs like “Further Down Below” in the vein of Long Tall Texans and Raygun Cowboys.  

Pills And Blades is a familiar but very different album than 2011’s Randomly Generated Numbers.  While their debut full length owed much to The Gutter Demons’ legacy, Pills And Blades more fully realizes a hard-rockin punk-n-roll feel that Matchless can be proud to call their own.  Armed with harder riffs, livelier rhythms, and improved vocals, Matchless return to the psychobilly scene with the top down, engines revved, and sights set squarely on delivering an unforgettable ride.

Matchless – Anger Incorporated

MatchlessCanadian phsychobilly act Matchless has premiered their first new single in five years.  The track is titled “Anger Incorporated” and will appear on their next full length, expected to drop later this year on Falsetto Music Agency.

Listen to the track here.  The band last released Randomly Generated Numbers back in 2010.

Matchless - Randomly Generated Numbers

Matchless

Randomly Generated Numbers

Self Released
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

Those who know me well understand just how devastated I was when Montreal’s Gutter Demons called it a day back in 2008.  There it was, the greatest, most well rounded and ambitious band in psychobilly, calling it quits barely nine months after their mind blowing and genre eclipsing third album, Misery, Madness, and Murder Lullabies.  A little part of me died that day, and I couldn’t help but wonder if another psychobilly band could ever rival the Gutter Demons for that top spot.  What I hadn’t considered though, was that while frontman and lyricist Johnny Toxic had upped and left the Montreal scene, the remaining two members still had the drive and were looking to get their hands dirty in some new local projects.

In fact, drummer ‘Custom’ Pat and Upright Bassist ‘Flipper’ have been particularly industrious, getting involved in projects ranging from the newly formed street punkers in Tailgunner to making up half of the freshly exhumed rockabilly classic, The Alley Dukes.  And while the aforementioned projects are nothing to scoff at, the one that really grabbed my eye first that Flipper had joined the straight up psychobilly act Matchless.  Promising Flipper’s thick bass and all the inspiration that defined the Gutter Demons, the prospect excited me.  Unfortunately my initial impressions left something to be desired.  The band rushed out a quick little EP in early 2009, and while reasonable in foundation, suffered from sounding more like a demo than a finished product (I was later told that it was a demo).  Without going in to too much detail, the vocals lacked a certain punch, and the music just didn’t leave much of an impact.  It was disheartening, so I just sort of abandoned the search and looked elsewhere for my fix.

Now, at this point I should mention that occasionally I find myself navigating to the Gutter Demons’ website in the off chance the defunct band might have an update.  So one day while checking up and listening to the sound of nostalgia, I thought that I might as well check up on the boys’ new endeavors.  And damn, am I ever glad I did.  For when I found myself over at the Matchless website I was greeted with the closest thing to the Gutter Demons shy of the band itself.

Since their previous release, Matchless has completely revamped their mechanics.  For starters, they’ve solved their vocal issues with frontman “Frank” ditching his rockabilly overtone in favour of a more natural punk persona.  His manner takes a nod from Johnny Toxic’s growly, raspy French Canadian accent, giving Matchless a fantastic edge and instant draw for psychobilly enthusiasts.  And of course, with Flipper back in the saddle, rest assured every track thumps along with unmatched energy and aggression.  They’ve also eliminated production issues, with the new full length, Randomly Generated Numbers, sounding satisfyingly crisp.  Every chord finds that perfect balance between pulsating pedal work and distortion, backed by a ton of atmospheric sounds and moments of toned down spoken word.

The effect is both nostalgic and fresh, and sounds like the natural progression of the Demons’ sound.  At their core Matchless builds their sound around that characteristic 80’s psychobilly sound that bands like Batmobile and The Krewmen pioneered by meshing rockabilly and punk into one.  And unlike many of today’s poppy psychobilly outfits like Ontario’s The CreepshowMatchless looks for inspiration in the genre’s rock n’ roll roots, particularly evident in the neo-rockabilly numbers “Fourteen Years” and “Grease Monkey Blues.”  But even so, placing a label is a tough task.  The best comparison comes from looking at the Demons’ later material.   Much like the local legend’s final work, Matchless fuses an element of country in their stylistic concoction.  It’s always present, but comes and goes in waves.  For example, tracks like “Selfish Thoughts” and “Randomly Generated Numbers” reveal but trace hints, while those like “What’s Wrong With Mary” and “Legacy Of Bitterness” embrace a real western flare in sound and content.  There aren’t many bands that can pull off – or even fit in – with this sound, so from this standpoint Matchless aims to build off of what The Demons never truly finished.

Speaking of which, there are quite a few instances of subtle sound effects and atmospheric flourishes.  From the occasional sound of gunfire and hooves during the climax of “Legacy of Bitterness,” to the sound of casino slots in the title track’s tale of revenge and greed, the tracks take on a life of their own.  Furthermore, “Frank” is credited with writing duties, and he more than gets the job done.  His lyrics are smart, not overly obvious, and leave plenty of room for thoughtful interpretation.

In short, Matchless isn’t cookie cutter psychobilly.  Rather, their debut full length takes a nod from their past influences for an altogether unique fusion.  If you loved the Gutter Demons, then Matchless is a shoe in.  Admittedly, in some places the four members sound as if they’re still finding their footing, but based on the strength of their debut, I hold no serious reservations and can’t wait for their next offering. Randomly Generated Numbers hasn’t left my iPod, car stereo, and various other outlets for musical output in over a month, and with each passing listen, continues to grow on me.

   

Matchless Debuts New Song Live

Montreal psychobilly act Matchless has debuted a brand new song live.  The track is titled “Afterbite” and is set to appear on the band’s currently untitled follow up to 2010’s Randomly Generated Numbers.  The album is expected to drop sometime in early 2013.

Check out the new song below.

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Matchless Competing In Ernie Ball Battle Of The Bands

Upcoming Montreal psychobilly giants Matchless have entered ths year’s Ernie Ball’s battle of the bands for a spot on the warped tour.  The band is currently featured on the front of the website and is steaming about half of the tracks from their 2010 review, Randomly Generated Numbers. The band includes former Gutter Demons upright bassist Flipper.

Their current status can be found here.

   

Stream (most of) Matchless' Debut

Upcoming Montreal psychobilly giants Matchless are streaming twelve of the fourteen tracks from their recent full length debut, Randomly Generated Numbers, over on their ReverbNation profile.  The band includes former Gutter Demons upright bassist Flipper.  We recently reviewed the album a few weeks back.

Check out the stream here.

   

Matchless – Don’t Leave Your Day Job

After the distressing breakup of Montreal’s finest psychobilly offering, The Gutter Demons, Matchless emerged to fill the void.  This is the band’ first EP and features some rather uninspired vocals compared to what their new vocalist “Frank” can belt.  That being said, it’s still top notch rock n’ roll psychobilly with upright bassist Flipper still on the top of his game.  Definately a good first effort, and a good sample to wet the appetite; but the real meal comes in the recently released Randomly Generated Numbers (sample it on their myspace) – but you can’t download it anywhere or buy it anywhere but shows at the moment, so for the time being, check out their debut EP, Don’t Leave your Day Job.

MatchlessDon’t Leave Your Day Job

Download the Album From Last.fm