No Matter is a North Ireland punk band. They have quite a couple of releases under their belt. Excess Baggage being their latest offer. They offer a bit of a time travel experience. This EP reminds me of the nineties very much. And not just the nineties, but the punk demos I heard back in the day to be specific.
I am talking about those glorious and golden days right after Green Day unleashed Dookie on a largely unsuspecting world. Loads of bands wanted to sound like them. Those days are gone and will not return. You could say No Matter is born a decade or two too late. I am sure they could have made a name for themselves back then. But now? It will be a lot harder for them.
Not only will it be harder as this type of music is not in high demand as much as it used to be, but also because this style has been done and redone making it hard to fight for the attention of fans of the genre. In my opinion you’ll need something to separate yourself from the masses. Either you display enormous amounts of energy and urgency or you add a bit of a twist to that tried and tested sound. Just writing a song by the numbers doesn’t really cut it.
This is where No Matter is falling short. They do not offer anything extra on what we already know. Music wise it is very unoriginal. The biggest offender on Excess Baggage is “Rewrite”. This comes so close to stuff you can listen to on Dookie you could almost call it plagiarism. Let’s try and look past that and call it an ode to it instead.
Unfortunately this is not all that holds No Matter back. They use two singers, a male and a female. They each have their own songs. The first couple of songs you’ll hear a male voice. He doesn’t do too bad. I just wish he would find a way to sound more urgent. His performance is a bit lacklustre at times. I want him to sound like he means it. That’s missing most of the time.
Now, I am a big fan of female voices in punk. I was therefore really looking forward to her part. “Bohemian Scandal” was her first song on the EP. I was out of breath halfway through the song. That was due to her singing way above what she should attempt. Her second try unfortunately wasn't much better. I would strongly advise a couple of singing lessons focusing on correct breathing. Now, it is just tiring to listen too.
I think the underwhelming vocals are what makes me think of those demo’s from back then. These demo’s had the same problem most of the time. It’s a shame the band hasn’t fixed this in their almost 10 years of existing. It is holding them back. Their songs, although unoriginal are really not that bad. If they can improve their singing and add something of their own I am sure they can release some nice records for those that stick with this sound. I am hoping for improvement and will keep an eye out for next releases.
6.0 / 10
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