Written by: PP on 10/11/2011 04:35:51

For most people I've talked to, Samiam are one of those seminal 90s bands that gets mentioned everywhere but you've just never got around to checking them out, so here's your chance. They've dipped their toes in a number of different styles and genres ranging from alternative rock, original emo, indie rock, and even punk rock at times, having released seven albums prior to this one, "Trips", and most of those between 1990 and 1997. They faded away with the release of "Astray" in 2000, only to return quietly with "Whatever's Got You Down" six years later, followed by yet another silent period, and here we are with "Trips".

The short way to sum up "Trips"is to call it a breeze from the 90s, a nostalgic reminder of how rock music used to sound like before it was affected by globalization, trends, and the internet. Except instead of sounding dated, Samiam play with renewed energy throughout the album, as if they've just reinvented themselves. Though the songs are 90s alternative rock at heart, they dangle with punk rock tempos and indie rock flavor, with each style complementing each other nicely. The melodies are unassuming and lingering, sometimes even recalling post-grunge (think Bush, not Puddle Of Mudd) in their smoke-y catchyness, albeit a much faster version of the genre of course.

The opening couple of tracks on the album are good, but it's the ridiculously strong mid-section which makes "Trips" an excellent album. "Demon", "Crew Of One", "Dead", and "How Would You Know" form a string of smooth sing along and catchy guitar melodies that will make any fan of Crime In Stereo (see "Nightly" or "Freetime", which could have been on their latest album) and Jawbreaker a happy camper. Those two bands are also the two closest reference points for Samiam anno 2011, although it should be re-iterated that Samiam are a much faster band. The tempo in most songs is as close to punk rock without actually being punk rock, and it's this aspect what makes Samiam's songs so interesting. The added energy gives the catchy songs even more lasting power than they otherwise would have...and it's just nice to hear classic 90s sound sped up a little.

"Trips" does have its flaws (the maxed out guitar production which is close to breaking is one of them), but overall it's a much better album than you would've expected from a band that made its popularity more than fifteen years ago. More importantly, it's more than just a reunion album. It's a great alternative rock record in a time where we are in shortage of those.


Download: Demon, Crew Of One, Dead, How Would You Know
For the fans of: Crime In Stereo, Jawbreaker, Leatherface
Listen: Bandcamp

Release date 06.09.2011
Hopeless Records

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