Album Review
Shirts From Matthew - Catharsis EP Album Cover

Shirts From Matthew - Catharsis EP

Reviewed by
Shirts From Matthew - Catharsis
Record Label: Self Released
Release Date:March 14, 2012
It has been a steady decline for the type of music that, by the begiining of the century, was known as Emo.
Most of their posterboys have either continued to write the same type of songs they always have, trying to rehash old successes to no avail, like Dashboard Confessional, or have completely transioned over into pop music, like Jimmy Eat World did.
Whether or not that is a good thing is up for everyone to decide, but for those who miss the sound of that perticular point in the history of Emo, there is Shirts from Matthew.

The one man project from Australia delivers a spectecular offering of early 00s Emo with their debut EP Catharsis.
Clocking in at almost 25 minutes, the EP is free of dull moments and features 5 stellar examples of how good emotional rock music can be, without ever beeing whiny or cheesy.

Opener „Recklees Hearts“ starts slow, but steadily develops into a brilliantly written song, with a lush arrangement.
Soaring guitars in the chorus and the simple yet effective melodies, bring up memories of A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar era Dashboard Confessional.
Topped of by Sean Degans brilliant lyrics about two lovers who weren't meant to be together.

the panic is what soul searching was, a cold audience just wanting more / and hoping that you'll make it out tonight, or at least alive. / her eyes they give the truth and they scream / Desperate, i'll go away not yours.

The song is followed by the equally brilliant „Soul Search“ which puts Degans vocals in the spotlight.
Pouring his heart and soul into his performance, he sings his tale of anxiety over a layered arrangement of pure beauty. The guitars, the piano, bass and drums create a deep athmospehre, the anxiety palpale, but with hope on the horizon in form of the simply beautiful melody floating in the air.

it's not the sound of regret polluting my head, it's just the sound of anxiety, my fear of all that's not there.

Reminiscent at times of older Jimmy Eat World the song is quite easily the best of the five on the record.

"Ava Mae", a song written as an apology to his daughter is another stellar example of Seans songwriting skills.
Explaining his depression to his little girl in such a loving and caring way,the song will tuck at your heart strings.

My little girl my heart was always there / Although it seemed I didn’t I still cared
You’re the reason I believe in love / My Heart is Ours!

And while the other two songs on the record, differ very little from the first three, the consistently brilliant song writing, both in terms of music and lyrics, make them a most worthwhile listen.
All in all, Catharsis is a stellar record fans of melodic rock and early 00s Emo alike should check out.
The EP is free to download and is worth every second of your time.

Recommended If You Likeearly 00s Emo; The Dangerous Summer; Dashboard Confessional - A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar

The EP can be dowloaded on the bands bandcamp page:

This review is a user submitted review from German Markus. You can see all of German Markus's submitted reviews here.
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