The Garage, Islington
Six years have passed since Eighties Matchbox released their last album, so it’s unsurprising that they appear a little older and a little plumper with a little grey streaked through their ‘dos. Tracks from new album ‘Blood And Fire’ take on a more screamo edge compared to their previous material, but they still drop in the old hits such as ‘Psychosis Safari’ and ‘Mister Mental’, which the crowd predictably goes mad for, shouting lyrics word for word and clapping on cue when frontman Guy McKnight strikes his palms together. There’s a similar response during current single ‘Love Turns to Hate’ with its spiralling, high-pitched catchy riff and macho chants, while other tracks like ‘Mission From God’ tramp along with heart-palpitating drums; it’s stroke-inducing stuff.
For most of the night the lighting is down and the band are lit solely from the front, but it feels right to view the Brighton quintet through a dark haze where the only point of focus is McKnight’s crazy stare and their theatrical Cramps-style eeriness.
By D. K. Goldstein
Originally published in issue 18 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. June 2010