Matchstickmen, From Our Own Ashes. Album Review.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10

On fire, blazing with so much anger and hope that the only thing that might compare to a match held up close to the eye is seeing the Sun being so much in focus that the Earth may as well be hurtling towards its intense solitary star; Matchstickmen, the snare and crackle of Lucifer’s tip with added muscle of songs that radiate and roar like the finest stoked fire in a Scottish Highland’s castle on New Year’s Eve, it is the fact that Matchstickmen have produced such a fine and wonderful album that From Our Own Ashes somehow is going to be comfortably one of the great hard rock albums of the year.

To lose yourself in an album is a privilege, to feel yourself shine, to feel the glow of the struck match, one after another, a never ending supply of matches with the smell of sulphur forever hanging in the air and never losing the light that illuminates the room; it is an honour that cannot be contained. From Our Own Ashes comes the phoenix, the remains of all that has been left behind now dust, now cinders and blowing very much away in the depths of a cruel winter’s breath.

It is in that image of the phoenix that Matchstickmen rise above anything that went before and swamp their fans with excitement and poise, the beat of an anvil with a hammer against the red hot fire, this is the setting for the album and it is one of greatness.

In tracks such as the opener Wake Up Call, the illuminating Wrong Side of 30, Imperfection, Hit By Chance and the magnificent album closer Numb, Matchstickmen pound away with heart, with the all the fire that once consumed the phoenix, all the desire of a raging fire to devour the ash, the Earth and the very soil we dig ourselves into. This is not just an album for the band’s fans, this is a present of distinction, a reason to fall in love with each song, for nothing is worthwhile if not consumed by power and rage.

From Our Own Ashes is a magnificent album by the Liverpool hard rock band, one that really leaves the residue of lesser recordings behind.

Ian D. Hall