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The Matches

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Straight out of Oakland, the Matches set the California music scene on fire thanks to twelve explosive, hook-injected songs recorded on the cheap in their basements and living rooms. Coupled with an unstoppable work ethic that included the band’s very own “Commotion Promotion” tactics, buzz on the quartet’s self-released debut E. Von Dahl Killed the Locals and the live shows that supported it spread like a virus to music enthusiasts up and down the Golden State and, as they toured small venues relentlessly, across the country.

Despite the ensuing hype that landed the interest of numerous label A&R execs, the truth is that the Matches wouldn’t be so well known without contagious anthems like “The Jack Slap Cheer” or “The Restless.” It’s these songs, sounding like they were written for the suburban youth, that have sparked so much attention.

Formed as The Locals in 1997, when vocalist/guitarist Shawn Harris, drummer Matt Whalen and bassist Justin San Souci were early in their respective tenures at Oakland’s Bishop O’Dowd High, the group grew frustrated by the turn of the millennium at the lack of under-21 venues in the Bay Area. Commandeering a webcasting warehouse called iMusicast in their home city, they launched a show called L3: Live, Loud and Local. In an effort to promote these L3 shows, the band - now with guitarist Jon Devoto in the fold - initiated “Commo Promo,” accosting potential fans exiting concerts and clubs, student unions, dorms, high schools, malls and fast food joints, welcome or not.

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