Sam Champion | Heavenly Bender (North Street)

cd_sam-champion.jpgWith their sophomore LP, Heavenly Bender, Sam Champion keeps pace with other, more well-known bands of its indie/folk rock genre.

 

 

 

 

 

 

With their sophomore LP, Heavenly Bender, Sam Champion keeps pace with other, more well-known bands of its indie/folk rock genre…yet, although almost every song is entertaining, it sounds like most other bands of that genre. Upon first listen, every song seems to blend into one, sounding only slightly different from the next. While the album is mildly enjoyable, it gets monotonous listening to what seems to be one band just with many different names.

Sam Champion is a four-man band from New York whose sound is similar to that of old-school Weezer mixed with Hot Hot Heat and a hint of Wilco. Heavy guitar riffs and drums dominate the majority of the album, along with steady vocals. While the album’s single, "Be Mine Everyone," is one of the better tracks, the two that stand out the most are "Like a Secret" and the title track. Both songs are catchy, and every aspect of the songs flows well together. "Like a Secret" is an energetic song that starts off the album by giving an idea of what to expect from there on out. "Space Heater" changes up the feel of the disc a little bit, leaning more toward folk music and adding a banjo to the list of instruments.

The low points of the album are the tracks "You Can’t Stop" and "Commitments," which try to slow the pace down but become dull in the process. Besides its unoriginal sound, not much is wrong with this album. If you like other indie/folk rock bands, you’ll probably like Sam Champion as well. B | Alex Bates

RIYL: Hot Hot Heat, The Strokes

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