Music » Critics' Picks

The Matches/All Time Low/Sonny

7 p.m. Wednesday, April 23. Pop's, 1403 Mississippi Avenue, Sauget, Illinois

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For two albums now the Matches have been toiling as under-the-radar mad scientists, suturing together various components of rock, punk, indie and cabaret to create a rollicking, exuberant sound as innovative as it is intense. The band's recent third effort A Band in Hope somehow magnifies its flair for theatricals, with catchy-as-the-plague choruses pervading not only the optimistic fist-pumpers, but also the Broadway-, R&B- and folk-influenced numbers as well. It's rare to discover something this musically unique, rarer still to find it attached to such playfully quirky and highly intelligent lyrics. But an opportunity to see the Matches up close, for comparatively cheap and alongside four additional Next Big Things to boot (including All Time Low and Sonny)? That sort of opportunity is rarest of all.

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