In keeping with the one-word approach of a recent review, Matchbook Romance scrapes up an "earnest" with their major label debut, Stories and Alibis. I wish I could stop there, but I'm paid for 200 words, so ...

My first reaction when iTunes kicked this puppy off was incredulity; I thought somehow I was picking up 100.3 on my PC. This disc sounds like the incessant Warped-Tour-and-nu-metal playlists that helped wean me off local radio. It's not that that type of music is bad, but when that's all you hear, the loathing begins. Your mileage may vary.

What's here is put together fairly well: The band can play, the production is solid, the melodies are indeed melodic. But there's nothing distinct here. They sound like a thousand other bands on the radio or on MTV2. I'm listening to the disc as I write this, and I can't remember any of the song titles. Hell, I have to keep checking the CD cover to make sure it's not Blink-182 or Sum 41 or Good Charlotte; take your pick. Caveat emptor.

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