Samiam is one of those bands that have accompanied me musically for over 20 years now. I have every single one of their albums in my record collection, and I’ve seen them live multiple times. They are even one of the few bands I had the opportunity to see live on stage both in my hometown of Oldenburg and in my new home of Berlin. Now, their first album in 12 years is spinning on my turntable.
While comeback albums from beloved bands often struggle to meet one’s own expectations simply because the anticipation is so immense (a recent example being The Van Pelt, whose new work I just can’t quite connect with yet), Samiam dismisses any doubts from the very first minute. The opener “Lake Speed,” kicks off with fast guitars and driving drums, hitting the accelerator as if to dispel any suspicions of growing old. After all, the band was formed back in 1988, and some of the band members have already crossed the age of 50 a few years ago.
Age doesn’t matter – Samiam sound fresh as ever!
This is evident throughout the 12 new songs. The second track “Crystallized” sounds like a typical Samiam song that could easily have been featured on the band’s classic album “Clumsy” (released in 1994). There’s no sign of rock for old people rock like Pearl Jam (another favorite band of mine that unfortunately doesn’t pass the test of aging so effortlessly) anywhere to be found here. “Stowaway” offers a solid 35 minutes of melodic hardcore or emopunk, depending on which label you prefer. While the band doesn’t reinvent their music or the genre, Samiam still has a knack for catchy hooks and memorable refrains. This is evident in songs like “Scout Knife,” “Monterey Canyon,” and “Something” which leave a strong impression. At times, listening to this album makes me feel like the 20-year-old student trying to find his place in life. However, while I’ve grown older and more mature in the meantime, the band sounds just as fresh as it did back then. That’s something worth respecting.
Vinyl of the week in many different vinyl colors
Excited as I was, I immediately purchased the limited edition on Sea Blue & Aqua Blue A-Side/B-Side with Bone & Yellow Splatter Vinyl from the label Pure Noise Records upon the album announcement. It’s now sold out. Which will probably be the same with a lot of the vinyl colors that are available. I stopped counting all the different vinyl colors, here in germany alone there have been several editions available. Next to the vinyl colors that are available at Pure Noise Records, there is an indie retail exclusive in the UK and EU on Sea Blue & Aqua Blue Pinwheel vinyl. As well as an edition on Yellow & Orange A-side/B-side vinyl in the United States. 1-2-3-4 Go! Records in Oakland, California, has its own limited pressing of 300 copies on split Blue Tri-Stripe w/ Bone Splatter vinyl. Regardless of which variant you choose, the album is definitely worth it musically!