Record Label: Hopeless Records
Buy On Amazon
For me, Samiam had always been one of the punk bands that really stood out on Hopeless Records/Sub City. Their songs were chock full of sing-a-long choruses and power pop punk riffs. It’s been a long time since Samiam had released an album in fact “Trips” is their first release in nearly five years.
“Trips” is definitely a trip back to Samiam’s early indie years. The album almost entirely eliminates the power ballads that were found on their major label releases and replaces them with songs that remind me of their early Hopeless releases. There is a heavy dose of the Descendents/ALL and Hot Water Music throughout the course of “Trips” but packaged in with the classic buzzing guitars and pulsing drums that make that signature Samiam sound.
“Trips” rocks through most of the tracks but, as mentioned before, trails off towards the end of the album when the ballads of later Samiam release rear their ugly heads. It somewhat grinds the energy of the beginning of the album to a halt. These particular songs aren’t terrible but don’t seem to fit the vibe or the rest of “Trips”. It’s a slight fizzle on an album that pops and rocks throughout.
Overall, “Trips” was a walk down memory lane. Samiam went back to their indie punk roots to rediscover what took them where they were going but didn’t forget about the sound that got them to where they are now. Even though “Trips” ends on a slow step, the frantic pace of the rest of the album is more than enough to carry the load.
Bottom Line: For fans of Against Me and the Gaslight Anthem, check out one of the bands that perfected that sound first.
Notable Tracks: 80 West, September Holiday, Nightly