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Matches on Gasoline tells the tale of a guitar player’s mischievous and persuasive left hand. The relationship between left hand and player begins as a battle for control over the body’s actions that results in a victory for the hand, leaving the player to resign all power and allow the hand to carry out the only two things it knows: drinking beer and playing rock n’ roll music. In the second verse, the left had recruits the right, and the player is officially helpless. It is unclear whether the song is truly about a paranormally alive hand, or about the player himself finding ways to shift accountability for his impulses. Either way, the song hits on the universal feeling of giving into temptation. When the feeling is too strong to avoid, it grows into something all-consuming and unstoppable, like a match to gasoline. 


The band describes the song as a true “in your face” rock song that centers around one hook. Clayton was playing around with the main riff and when he brought it to the band, they played the song through almost entirely at the first pass. The opening line, “I got a problem with my left hand,” just came out of nowhere during the first play. Pat added those stops after the choruses on the fly and everyone jumped back in at the same time. Charlie ripped a solo during the outro and the song was all but done. “Any notes?” Clayton asked as the amps rang out. Jordan chimed in, “how about a key change down to E for the solo then we bring it back to A and finish on the main riff?” Needless to say, that change was included in the final track. Matches on Gasoline was the first song to be completed on the EP and the band jokes that they can play the song blindfolded in their sleep. 


Down the Line is a dynamic and catchy rock tune that incorporates a variety of influences. The song is propelled by driving bass and a deliberate drum part that mixes up the key and timing of the song to keep listeners on their toes. Jordan came to the group with the idea for the song’s three distinct parts and everyone was sold immediately. “Down the Line” is a strong candidate for the EP’s most creative and technically-demanding number. The break before each chorus ties the song together, but it wasn't without practice. The band laughs thinking rehearsing that part on repeat for a few minutes at a time to lock the tempo in. 


The narrator in the song is at a crossroads. Something isn’t right and while he can’t articulate it exactly, he knows something needs to change. His solution is to get out, pass to a new town, and “move it on down the line.” During the first verse he makes a discovery that prompts his discomfort. When asked what the narrator found, Clayton replied, “if I wanted you to know, I would have put it in the song.” The narrator’s decision to leave town comes suddenly, and that first chorus is delivered with passion. The voice is raspy and a bit off-cadence, as if he’s yelling to himself. The second chorus is more measured and melodic, as if the decision has been made and it’s time to calm down and execute the plan. 


The narrator is no stranger to leaving town and admits in the second verse, “I’ve never been the one to let the roots grow strong, and I’ve been in this time zone now just a little too long…” “Down the Line” is a case of song and lyric tenor syncing up, offering a natural marriage between the down, dirty, and dynamic rock feel with the story of a brooding drifter who sees a familiar chance to make a new start. 


All the Same: Right before the band really jumped in to the writing process, Clayton was in Savannah, Georgia, walking the old brick streets in the humid air with his unplugged Les Paul strapped around his shoulder. He wrote many of the EP’s lyrics during that time, and “All the Same” is certainly one of them. Savannah is the oldest city in the State of Georgia, and something about the pleasant weather, good food, old architecture, and historical landmarks opened up a fresh perspective. Madey also describes the freedom that comes from being in a “new place, far from home, where you don't recognize anything or anyone, and no one recognizes you.” 


Charlie came to the band with ideas for verse and chorus parts, and the group was enamored by the unique feel and sound. “All the Same” was certainly a case of workshopping a song, where comments like, “let’s break that chorus part into quarters,” and, “I’m hearing a big crescendo here,” and, “what if we walk from G to A there to add some tension?” were thrown around for weeks until the boys from Party of 4 finalized the tune. 


The song is an ominous and mysteries changeup from the rest of the EP. The tune is very holistic and deserves a conscientious start-to-finish listen. It winds through a journey of building up and breaking down until reaching its height at the song’s full and emotional ending. 


The lyrics meander through state of confusion. The opening line of, “these streets all look the same,” came on a walk Clayton took at midnight in Savanah, where the overhanging trees and cobblestone streets created the same visual block after block. Madey liked the idea of hyperbolizing that feeling into a state of total disillusionment, wherein the narrator doesn't recognize anything – places, streets, rooms, sounds – and can’t find his way back to solid ground. The sentiment he describes is “falling in an endless pit and seeing unrecognizable objects coming in and out of view.” Lines like, “I’m feeling weightless, I’m feeling flawless…” leave some ambiguity as to whether the narrator is enjoying the sensation or not. The end brings a break in the confusion where the narrator is speaking coherently and shouting, begging to be brought back to a state of normalcy and control. “Where’d it all go wrong? Where’d it all go?” 


Old Fashioned Love is another product of the streets of Savannah. The opening hook was written in a hotel bathroom, played softly and acoustically as to not wake Madey’s sleeping brother. The lyrics came on a walk the next day, and much of the song was born. When the group got together to play it as a band, the fit was immediate. Jordan was improvising bass lines, the two guitarists were taking turns playing solo melodies back and forth, and all the while Pat was marching along with a clear and steady beat in 12/8 time. 


The song speaks to the universal experience of losing touch with the raw, romantic side of a relationship in the wake of modern responsibilities. No hidden meanings here; two people haven’t been dedicating time and energy to the passion in the relationship, and the narrator is tired of it and ready to take matters into his own hands, literally. 


The vocal delivery begins softly and calmly, an effort to be tender and disarming. The passion in both the music and the lyrics only builds from there. The first chorus matches the soft delivery, and a crying guitar comes in to build momentum and emphasize the raw blues rock feel of the song. The second verse is belted louder and one octave higher in pitch, with a similar message, only a bit more to the point. Charlie’s knack for technically precise play and balance of melody and feel are all on display for the main solo in the middle of the song, bringing the tune to a crescendo at the third chorus where the narrator is at full volume, shamelessly reiterating the main message. “Old Fashioned Love” is a reference to romance without distraction. It is also a nod to the band’s appreciation of things past. 


Once More Chance was written outside of a parking lot in Savannah late on a Thursday night, where Clayton watched wave after wave of drunk party goers stumble home from the stretch of bars a few hundred yards down the street. “There was no shortage of booze in that city.” The drama that unfolded with each group made him look back on times when he had been in those shoes, and “One More Chance” was born.  


At the next practice, Madey called out, “Hey, I’ve got one to try, it's a funk song.” Pat called back immediately, “yeah, I got that. I’ll play that all day long. Hit it.” The band describes this type of song as so natural that it came together before it was written. 


The simple story of an imperfect man looking for another chance with an ex-lover rings out over a clean and up-beat funk track, with emphasis on drums and bass. You won’t find many bass solos in modern-era rock n’ roll, but you’ll find them coming from Party of 4, and they aren’t going away any time soon. The broken-down beat and huge bass presence throughout the song lend themselves to a bass spotlight, and the delivery is all one can want and more. Jordan improvised the solo part on the fly in the studio. The band talks a lot about the important relationship between drums and bass, and there is no shortage of appreciation for each. Clayton and Charlie have been known to stop playing their instruments and start throwing objects around the room in amazement during Pat/Jordan combos in rehearsal. “One More Chance” is begging for two cocktails and a dancefloor. 


A Strange Case gets its theme from Robert Louis Stevenson’s famous, “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.” The music came first for this track. During a free-form session when the band was just playing as a group with no particular end in sight, the band fell into the main riff of the song. After playing it a few times through they stopped and looked up and all thought, “we have to turn that into something.” 


Madey is fascinated with the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde for its creative premise, allusion to human/moral dilemmas, and timeless relevance, and he was rereading the novel while the tune was being created. The “chorus” of the song has no lyrics because the goal was for the main riff to stand out. How can a chorus have lyrical meaning without lyrics? Imply a transformation into an evil being, obviously… The words we hear are being delivered from Dr. Jekyll’s standpoint, where he describes a pending transformation into something else that he doesn't quite accept or understand. The lyrics pierce through a clean drum track and simple string instrument parts as the Doctor is present and coherent. As he slips into Mr. Hyde, he tells the listener that he has to go, and we hear him screaming to break free right as we reach the central riff. To start, the Doctor is worried and warning about the transformation. After some thought, and a cryptic and clean guitar solo, the Doctor has come to realize the he welcomes the change. “I used to bolt it shut at night, now I hold the door for Mr. Hyde.” He willingly transforms, and we do not hear from the Doctor again. 

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