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Sam Champion - Slow Rewind Review

by Charlotte Hannon

Sam Champion (a band not an individual), have been compared to Pavement, at times that comparison coming across more like an accusation, intriguing me into hearing their album Slow Rewind for myself. The album opens with title track Slow Rewind and I found myself thinking more along the lines of Shane McGowan. It's not that the sound resembles McGowan or the early Pogues, this is Indy/college low-tempo rock, but the unmistakable "let's just sit around and jam and to hell with the begrudgers" attitude coupled with the "I recorded this in my bedroom" feel, that led me to think along those lines. Like McGowan, Sam Champion are a band you'll either love or hate, it's highly doubtful there'll be any in-between, but also like McGowan they come across like they don't give a fiddler's whether you like them or not, they're doing this because they like it. I rather like that.

As for the album, songs like Slow Rewind, and "You Can't See The Stars In This Town", do have a certain charm, Noah Chernin, lead singer and songwriter for the band, emotes these songs quite well and his lyrical wit is most strongly felt on those tracks also. Other tracks like "TV Fever" and "All Of Our Tomorrows" over-use the distortion to the point that they just become annoying. "Texas Song" is sung soooooooo sloooooooow that you feel like you've driven half way across Texas before it's finished. In general that becomes the overall feel of the album, very laid back. A little shocker of an up-tempo around about the seventh or eight track would have been good for the concentration factor. The last track "Too Broke" features the best hook line of the album, "I'm too broke to go get drunk", and melody and verses are quite stout here too: "Come off, Sooner the better/I can fake the truth sometimes/Heartbreak is an addiction/But two for one is some peace of mind". This is the track most likely to have the college dorm crowd feeling warm empathy and an instant rapport. To those of you not living in dorms, if you like to come home from a mad night on the batter, somewhat fossilized and a tad depressed, this is your album to unwind to while you make that toasted cheese or burn an oven pizza before crashing out. To the rest of you, well there's a lid for every pot but Sam Champion is probably not going to fit yours.

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Sam Champion - Slow Rewind

Label:Razor & Tie

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