Sorry if the title is a bit misleading. I’m not talking about the return of that glamorous era of the 80’s, no, i’m talking about one of my favourite bands of all time…..the Brighton psychos Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster. They’re finally releasing a new album. “Blood and Fire” is set for release on the 17th of May, more than 5 and a half years after their last offering “The Royal Society”. If you haven’t heard these guys before i’d seriously recommend starting off from the beginning and getting their debut “Horse of The Dog”. You won’t be disappointed.
TRACKLISTING FOR BLOOD AND FIRE
1. LOVE TURNS TO HATE 3.09
2. MISSION FROM GOD 2.36
3. SO LONG GOODNIGHT 4.25
4. UNDER MY CHIN 2.18
5. RIPTIN 3.25
6. MONSIEUR CUTTS 2.32
7. I HATE THE BLUES 2.49
8. MAN FOR ALL SEASONS 2.14
9. DON’T ASK ME TO LOVE YOU 2.41
10. HOMEMADE 4.05
11. NEVER BE THE SAME 3.21
12. ARE YOU LIVING 4.08
MP3: Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster – Love Turns To Hate (Demo)
(this is a demo version from 2005)
The Matchbox hold a very special place in my heart. They were a band i found just by chance when i raided my sisters CD collection one night back in 2002. The cover of “Horse of The Dog” jumped out at me initially so i took the CD, gave it a listen………and never returned it. I’m sorry Lisa. The album is one of sheer punk psychobilly garage noise. Guy McKnights wild tones swinging from a woozy and evil Elvis to an even more intimidating version of Lux Interior. His almost primal shrieks were the perfect match for the Cramps and Birthday Party-esque structures and frenetic pace of the music. For an album that clocks in at just 25 minutes it certainly managed to leave a massive impression. It was just what i was looking for at that age (16 going on 17), aggression and rebellion.
MP3: Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster – Psychosis Safari
from “Horse of the Dog”
Their second album “The Royal Society” was more of the same. Dirty music, filthy tongues, self assessing lyrics, there was an almost paranoid feel to some tracks with Guy McKnight tying to keep his personalities in check. The paranoia feel only added to the tension and made the tracks even more appealing. On “Royal Society” the Matchbox had also proved that they had an ear for a catchy song or two. All 3 singles released from the album were Top 40 UK chart hits. With Mr Mental giving them their highest ever position at 25. Mr Mental also featured in the zombie comedy Shaun of the Dead in a memorable car scene.
MP3: Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster – Rise Of The Eagles
from “The Royal Society”
After releasing “The Royal Society” they kind of stalled. There were a few in’s and out’s on the guitar front between 2005 and 2008. The inconsistency there would obviously have had an effect on the non release of new material. But new songs were aired during live shows. Most went down well, really well in fact. A few of the songs from that era (circa 06-07) are actually on the upcoming new album. Two of the songs in question are “Love Turns To Hate” and “I Hate The Blues”. During this time i was aching for more Matchbox and i successfully managed to get a hold of just about every single Matchbox track available through a Russian fans unofficial website, sadly this site exists no more. It had every b-side and demo they ever done as available free MP3s, a live version of just about every song, videos, everything a fanatic would need. It’s safe to say i downloaded every single file i could from that website and i still have them to this day. My favourite demo and in fact one of my favourite Matchbox songs of all time is “Count The Voices”. Sadly for me it’s not made the album. But i’ve still had the joy of seeing it live about 4 or 5 times. Which brings me to the next section. The Eighties Matchbox live = amazing chaos and a guaranteed party.
I’ve not missed one single live show of theirs in Scotland since 2003. I’ve seen them play just about every single small venue in Glasgow and Edinburgh. I also had some of the best nights of my life when i seen them support Queens of the Stone Age at the Carling Academy back in 2007 and also in support of System of a Down at the SECC in 2005. I’ve seen them bring crowds to their knees, to their feet, to the celing (actually to the ceiling, yes) and on to the stage. Actually most of their gigs i’ve seen always end up with the crowd on stage, myself included on two or three occasions. Without a doubt though the best gig i’ve ever been to of theirs (there’s been a lot) was at the Garage in 2004 for a Halloween gig (they love their Halloween shows). Words can’t describe that night. So i won’t even try. Ok i will, it was just a perfect harmony of razor edged punk on their part and some of my best friends and i having a fucking brilliant night on our part. That was also the first time i met some of the band members. I would go on to meet them all several times over the next few years. I was once even accosted at a set of traffic lights by the bassist Sym Gharial looking for a cigarette. I happily obliged and he walked back to Glasgow Central station with us before heading off to some nightclub like the rest of us. That’s the thing see, they’re just normal guys. All lovely people who just happen to be in a crazy Rock n Roll band. There’s no egos, no complex.
In 2007 there was finally an official release in the form of the “In The Garden” EP. My friend Melanie very kindly sent me up a pre-release copy from London a few weeks before it was due out. It was put on constant rotation for about 3 months there after. After the EP release there were rumours abound of a new album. In between that time and the present the band have recorded with several different people, James Lavelle and Chris Goss included. The details of the new album seem to be quite close guarded though so who knows what versions of what songs have made it on…..
MP3: Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster – In the Garden
from “In The Garden”
You can’t fully appreciate the force of these guys until you’ve experienced them live.
MP3: Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster – Celebrate Your Mother (live)
Live @ Ocean, London (March 2003)
The band also sometimes choose to moonlight as The Boogs. They released a song under the moniker, it was “Palomino’s Dream”. A delightful psych-rock number as could only be expected.
So there we have it. That was a quick summary of the career of the Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster so far. Thank god they’re back.
S.I.T Wolf X
ps. if anybody has or knows anybody who has the Eighty Degrees of Separation DVD please let me know! It’s ultra rare and is just about the only thing i don’t have of theirs.