Review

The Matchboxes just dropped their debut EP, and it’s full of all the things we love most about SA indie

Four years after teaming up, The Matchboxes have dropped their first self-titled EP that traverses the struggles that independent musicians face today, and moreover, the humbug complexities of youth.

The core of this album is wrapped around an overt vocal identity that’s got a typically SA-indie sound to it. Lines like “Say yeah, move your hair” or “I just lost my car keys/ Drunk tonight where do I go?” have got a real current beat to them, and the potential to translate that energy on a wider context.

“Say Yeah” is the best track off the EP, taking on a heady chorus and a pretty beefy bass line – the kind of stuff that belongs in Melville street bars. The entire EP is swamped in chippy riffs and Mzanzi melodies, and while they’re incredibly infectious, they tend to feel a little too agreeable for their genre.

It all feels a little breathless – it’s a sound we’ve heard before – and while artists like Shortstraw and Matthew Mole continue to pioneer this style, neither them nor The Matchboxes are pushing the genre in any way and it’s a struggle to break this sort of mould. Yet, for newbies navigating the scene, they cut an uplifting figure nonetheless.