A popular act in the UK is guitar wielding duo Striking Matches who first rose to fame after having several songs featured on the programme Nashville. In the past three years or so they have been on many visits to the UK where they consistently leave the crowd in awe with their jaw-dropping guitar skills. I’ve always said if Justin and Sarah were cricketers they would be all rounders, they can sing, they can play, they write some cracking songs and boy do they entertain when they’re on stage! But on Friday they released a brand new EP that’s flown under the radar a little bit which (pardon the pun) is a shame! Granted it’s quite different from their debut album (iTunes describes it as alternative) but it still plays to the duo’s strengths being heavily driven by those electric guitar skills and it captures the energy of their live shows. All in all it sounds bigger. It’s great to hear new music from the duo and below is a track by track run down of what makes their EP great.
The EP opens with Ghost and we instantly get a feel for their new sound, as predicted the guitars and the slide is a prominent feature still. Their range of skills allow them to create not only hooks with the melody and lyrics like most songs but also guitar riffs that act as hooks. There’s a nice instrumental and guitar solo towards the end as well. This is followed by Medicine which they performed live when they were last over in the UK and they had everyone singing along instantly to “Gotta take my medicine but there ain’t no medicine.” The title track which is proving to be the most popular on the EP according to iTunes, is becoming one of my favourite songs out there. Throughout the EP the chorus’ in all the songs are quite simple but it’s this simplicity that makes them easy to sing along to and give space for the track and especially those guitars to come to the forefront and pull the listener in. Shameless in particular I find you get lost in, the track is so big and the effects on those guitars along with the organ add a kind of tranquility to the track. The more I listen to it the more I think what a powerful track it is. It’s one of those tracks you can imagine playing in the background of a film at the pinnacle moment when the hero overcomes all odds and the audience is in tears! The EP concludes with Bad which shifts gears again, I love the vocals on this and the effects they use, in fact I love the production of this record, as I previously said it captures the duo’s energy and this new sound isn’t just big, it’s epic!
I really can’t wait to see how this record does and where Justin and Sarah go from here! I think their loyal Country following will go with them, I think it still caters for those fans but I really think it’s going to open up a whole new World of opportunities for the duo crossing over into other genres. I can see them playing this material with a full band behind them in arena’s and stadiums in a couple of years time, and we can’t wait to see that!