The Fucking Champs
Record Review by Marcel Feldmar
Don’t let the Roman Numerals fool you – this is actually the fourth full length release from the hipster metal math instrumental band, and yes… it rocks. This is kind of like metal for intellectuals, in a way. Or the irony driven indie-rocker who likes to rock out but for whatever reason is embarrassed to admit to liking Iron Maiden or Judas Priest. Guitar-driven riff-maniac songs that hit like brick walls on speed. I kind of place them right alongside Trans Am in a way, but where Trans Am goes for that Kraftwerk new wave vibe, these Champs hit straight for the beer-drinking long-haired highway rock. Interestingly enough, there have been some connections between the two bands (see the band TransChamps… or was it the Fucking Am… and Trans Am’s guitar player, Phil Manley, has become the Champs second guitarist), which ends up strengthening the solidity and the dynamics of both bands.
While mostly moving along those instrumental lines, this album has a vocal guest appearance from the “world’s worst stand-up comedian”, Neil Hamburger. Neil lends a little moan to “Fozzy Goes To Africa”, which, admittedly, isn’t quite a vocal appearance, but it’s something. The thing about this band is that it inspires even the laziest and mellow of us to actually take notice to the rock. You could be lying in a Jacuzzi by the ocean drinking a mint julep, and upon hearing this you’d pretty much be forced into standing up and banging your head, and I mean that in a good way.
The mellower (yes, there are some) moments on this slightly move between the prog rock chaos of Yes and King Crimson, with a couple of very short and moody, synth-touched pieces (“Insomnia” and “The Crystal Behind You”) breaking up the guitar attacks, and then the slightly longer “Dolores Park” taking you on a three minute renaissance touched journey through flowing trees and falling leaves before the CD closes with the rock crash of “Column of Heads” which stops and then moves through maybe 10 minutes of silence before breaking into a quirky metal demo crunch end.
More by this writer:
Sister Vanilla - Little Pop Rock
Wheat - Everyday I Said a Prayer for Kathy...
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Baby 81
Les Georges Leningrad - Sangue Puro