Some alternative rockers try to win listeners over with pure adrenaline or pure aggression; others make certain they have solid melodies to go with all that adrenaline. Matchless clearly falls into the latter category. There is plenty of intensity, aggression, and dissonance on You Shaped Curve, the Seattle band's first full-length album. But Matchless has a very strong sense of melody, which is why moody offerings like "Stellar," "Blackout," and "Maybe I'll Take the Stairs" would have been compelling even without so much amplification. If the half-female, half-male quartet had been forced to unplug and make You Shaped Curve an entirely acoustic recording, listeners still would have admired Matchless' haunting melodies and darkly introspective lyrics as well as the appealing lead vocals of singer/bassist Molly Kenny and singer/guitarist Stuart McAteer. But this CD is far from unplugged, and some of the credit for its attractive sound goes to Stuart Hallerman. Matchless produced You Shaped Curve with Hallerman, an alternative rock-oriented engineer who has worked with Soundgarden, Kimberly Bass, Mission U.K., and Bikini Kill, among others. You Shaped Curve isn't terribly cheerful, but if you're looking for emotional depth, you will find plenty of it on this promising effort.
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson