Samiam - Trips (Cover Artwork)


Samiam: TripsTrips (2011)
Hopeless Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:

Contributed by: BryneBryne
(others by this writer | submit your own)

The dominant lyrical hook in Trips opener "80 West" goes "I've been away for so long," and it's an apt one. This is just Samiam's third full-length in a dozen years, a pace that even the casual fan could recognize as slowed from the band's going-all-in era when they frantically released five studio .
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The dominant lyrical hook in Trips opener "80 West" goes "I've been away for so long," and it's an apt one. This is just Samiam's third full-length in a dozen years, a pace that even the casual fan could recognize as slowed from the band's going-all-in era when they frantically released five studio albums between 1990 and 1997. Now firmly ensconced in their part-time status, Samiam sound right at home on Trips. The pressure's off at this point, and the band exploits that freedom to their advantage with a collection of songs impressive enough to rival their best work.

Immediately apparent on Trips is the production. Crisp and clear, it's a far cry from the raw, unpolished sound that permeated throughout Samiam's 2006 effort Whatever's Got You Down, and consequently bogged down what was, in fact, a batch of pretty good songs. It's a quick start, as both "80 West" and "Clean Up the Mess" hover around the two-minute mark, but while "West" is an exercise in direct, soaring pop-punk, "Mess" is decidedly softer and more somber in tone, with some surprisingly dissonant guitars buzzsawing in the background of the chorus. In less than four minutes, the listener gets a pretty comprehensive look at both sides of Samiam, or at least the most direct versions of each.

Plenty of the melodies and moods that dominate Trips put it right where 2000's excellent Astray left off. "Demon" rings with twinkling guitars and thumps with busy drums, while utilizing the inverse of the quiet-loud dynamic–thunderous verses and softer, more dynamic choruses–to its maximum potential. "Crew of One", on the other hand, is just perpetually loud and wonderful, with massive "oh"s anchoring the chorus and a riff-filled bridge among its highlights. Also impressive is the guitar interplay from Sergie Loobkoff and Sean Kennerly that dominates "How Would You Know", a song that in both approach and tone bumps up nicely against its follower, "Nightly".

The back half of Trips keeps the consistency established by its first half, with "Freetime" capturing Samiam at its bounciest, most anthemic and most handclap-filled. At five-plus minutes, "El Dorando" is the album's longest entry, but also its best; with a bass-heavy foundation and guitars that flicker more than scorch, it's a song most reliant on vocalist Jason Beebout, and he knocks it out of the park with a confident, yet solemn performance. All told, it probably should've been tapped as the closing track, even if the three songs that come after it ("Magellan", "Did You Change" and "Happy for You") are all reliably solid.

Like every other great Samiam record (Clumsy, You Are Freaking Me Out and Astray are the others, if you're keeping score at home), Trips is a sprawling but cohesive effort with differing moods and tempos that coalesce to form a larger, far more interesting listening experience. If it ends up being the band's last album (and there's no indication it will be, though their track record suggests it'll be their last one for a while), it'll surely be one that resonates with fans for a long time.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
PopPunkPinkiePie (December 10, 2011)


BananaJoe (October 17, 2011)

Great, addictive record. El Dorado is the stand out.

printpac (September 29, 2011)

Really great stuff, love some of the tracks on it. Yeah i like the first 3 aswell.

RondoMondo (September 12, 2011)

This cd is probably the best they've done behind Astray, in my opinion. The first 3 tracks alone are worth the price of admission.

RondoMondo (September 12, 2011)

This cd is probably the best they've done behind Astray, in my opinion. The first 3 tracks alone are worth the price of admission.

abcdefuck (September 12, 2011)

Opening track is killer. The next few tunes are pretty good but I completely lose interest by the end of it. Should have been an EP.

Mat_T (September 11, 2011)

Love Samiam, but I have to say I am not a huge fan of this album. It just doesn't have the same kick or highlights of Astray or the last album Whatever's Got You Down.

Still, even this is better than most stuff to come out this year.

someone-yeah (September 9, 2011)

@dev Really? That's fucked up. It was named Over Now in the prerelease AP stream and when it was released earlier with 80 West on avclub. It's Over Now on the band's bandcamp page as well but the track listing for the album is all out of whack so who knows. Weird.

SteveScanner (September 8, 2011)

Some interesting comments here from Sergie - sounds like some re-issues are coming too.

NRA4EVER (September 8, 2011)

love it

dev (September 8, 2011)

@someone-yeah, it's not mislabeled. "Dead" is the title of that track on the back of my cd too.

dev (September 8, 2011)

My favourite album by these guys will always be "You Are Freaking Me Out", but I'll be damned if my 2nd favourite doesn't change every time they release something new. "Clean Up" is the catchiest song in the history of mankind.

fox82 (September 8, 2011)

Somewhat overrated band for the all the 30 somethings who still like pop punk, but are too ashamed to admit they like later Blink-182.

chipsahoycookie (September 8, 2011)

won me over.

someone-yeah (September 8, 2011)

A heads up for anyone getting this on itunes: Over Now is mislabelled as "Dead" for some reason.

hobbzoid (September 7, 2011)

Don't forget the first record and Soar and Billy those are all great too. Classics, all of them.

R3vengeTherapy (September 7, 2011)

Good review. It might be my second favorite Samiam album, the first of course being the flawless Astray. "El Dorado" is certainly one of the best tracks I've heard all year, but I think "Happy For You" is more than a suitable closer, and one of my many favorites from this record. As a whole, it's so so good and I am not disappointed in the least. It's extremely hard to say that about any band that's been around this long.

threewords (September 7, 2011)

it's "El Dorado". And I'm sure there's a reason it's not the closing track. Samiam don't leave you with cliff hangers to a story, they leave you with the conclusion.

cely (September 7, 2011)

http://www.rockedition.com/interviews/interview-with-sergie-loob koff-of-samiam/

Great interview here. Sergie even lets slip he goes onto punknews (well maybe).

Awesome album, took a couple of listens through to fully get it and on the train ride in this morning i was in bliss listening to this. "El Dorando" definately is one of the best songs they have ever done and the album is definately my number 1 this year.

Also if you read this Sergie...never stop making music even if it is side projects!

damnitsderek (September 6, 2011)

This album is tits. "El Dorando" is one of the best songs of 2011.

jacknife737 (September 6, 2011)

So fucking good.

eatdogs (September 6, 2011)


baseball (September 6, 2011)

I don't think there's a single band that's grown on me over time as much as Samiam. This does not disappoint at all.

BluthCo (September 6, 2011)

This is the first Samiam album I've listened to, and I'm thoroughly impressed. I couldn't put it better than "sprawling but cohesive." That's not an easy thing for bands to do, but it's very rewarding when they pull it off.

boxcar (September 6, 2011)

Vinyl arrived today. Should've been the follow up to "Astray"! Like mentioned in the review, while I like a bunch of songs on "Whatever's Got You Down", the production almost kills it..."Trips" is the perfect record for fall!

Saturnineage (September 6, 2011)

They never disappoint.

PaulPendley (September 6, 2011)

So good.

Mystereohasmono (September 6, 2011)

Thumbs up

MN_DrNick (September 6, 2011)

Top five of the year for sure. This might actually be my favorite of theirs.

Tudor (September 6, 2011)

No Samiam album catches me right away for some reason, and this one is no exception. Once It actually sinks in, I can't stop listening to it.

hayman (September 6, 2011)

Getting this next week. I don't even need to hear it all to know it's gonna be 5 stars.

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