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Samiam - Clumsy (Cover Artwork)

Samiam

Samiam: ClumsyClumsy (1994)
Atlantic

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:


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

"I hate you still, yet I imitate you. You're in my dreams pushing me around. I move my mouth. I watch her cry. It's killing me and you wonder why. Always said I wouldn't be that way. I always said I wouldn't be that way." And then comes the chorus of Jason Beebout screaming "CAPSIZED!!" Aaaaaaaaa.
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"I hate you still, yet I imitate you. You're in my dreams pushing me around. I move my mouth. I watch her cry. It's killing me and you wonder why. Always said I wouldn't be that way. I always said I wouldn't be that way."

And then comes the chorus of Jason Beebout screaming "CAPSIZED!!" Aaaaaaaaah!! It's so great to my ears! The song I'm describing (or trying to) is that of "Capsized." The song is the band's first big single off of their major label debut on the album Clumsy (their fourth overall). The song is probably one of the most emotionally powerful songs to come out of the '90s punk era. Samiam came out of the Bay Area scene along with Jawbreaker, making the punk genre more emotional (creating emo as some would argue). Both bands had powerful/emotionally charged lyrics and their music wasn't exactly what the standard punk sound was/is.

Anyways, the album itself is probably their strongest release they had in the '90s. Most of what you hear in their songs you can hear in bands today, such as Alkaline Trio. "As We're Told" is one of those songs I can guarantee that Alkaline Trio heard and decided to make music just like that. Look at the song "Bad Day": It's super catchy, happy-sounding (key of D Major), but the lyrics are quite the opposite of happy. Dogs ran over on the freeway. People rubbing me the wrong way. Don't feel like smiling. Not the most optimistic lyrics. Then again, Off with Their Heads have half their songs in the same mindset: catchy and happy-sounding but with despairing lyrics.

Beebout's emotional delivery on songs like "Capsized," "As We're Told," "Routine" and "Stepson" just feels really raw with the emotion delivered. At times, it can be very haunting. It's very hard to pull something like that off and very few bands really haven't been able to do so since. Like I said earlier, this band really had a huge effect/influence on how bands in the punk/emo genre could sound (Alkaline Trio and Hot Water Music especially). This album is probably one of the most essential listenings you'll need in terms of where punk and emo today really came from.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Jawbreaker - 24 Hour Revenge TherapyThe Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundIron Chic - Not Like ThisAlkaline Trio - GoddamnitThe Flatliners - CavalcadeRVIVR - LP [12-inch]Descendents - Everything SucksThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!The Gaslight Anthem - American SlangHostage Calm - Hostage Calm

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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.
madapril (February 12, 2013)

I was 17 in 1994... could never get into this band or album though they opened for some cool bands of the time. I honestly think skate kids got this band mixed up with some snowboard company of the same name and the t-shirts became more popular than the actual band. Samiam seemed all packaged up and promoted like this balls-out skate punk band. Despite a couple poppy songs the music wasn't skatepunk or even all that punk. It was mix-tempo stuff and super moody, more like Sunny Day Real Estate than Lagwagon. I also vaguely recall some drippy emotional song at the end of the album about a "crutch for the pain" which sounded like a pitiful "woah is me, I do heroin" song. Lame even by '90s standards.

foxhole_atheist (August 29, 2010)

This one is okay. "Astray" and "You Are Freaking Me Out" are better.

harekrishna (August 9, 2010)

saw these guys in vail colorado during this tour. great show!

R3vengeTherapy (August 9, 2010)

Really great record. Terrible review. In my mind, Astray will always be their pinnacle though.

I always saw Samiam as post hardcore mixed with punk, not emo. Same with Seaweed. Ah, Seaweed. What a fantastic band.

hamonrye (August 9, 2010)

i love this record. can't wait for orphan works to come out.

ervy (August 8, 2010)

No need to defend yourself. I'm just talking shit for funsies.

MN_DrNick (August 7, 2010)

In my defense, I always thought of Samiam as a band that you really couldn't put a genre label on. They're in the punk category some how, but I don't think pop punk is fitting. Monostereo, I think all I've ever heard about Jawbreaker ever since listening to music is that they're one of the first "emo" bands. It's weird. I know. And what people consider "emo" now is very very very different. Look at Seaweed. They're from Seattle and came out of the grunge scene... but are they really grunge compared to say Nirvana, Soundgarden, or Alice In Chains?

88fl_rules (August 7, 2010)

Soar is also great despite of the shitty mix

ervy (August 6, 2010)

Emo is a strange, stupid term, and I refuse to accept it as a genre of music. Samiam is a punk band.

If you like Clumsy, check out Astray.

DrGunn (August 6, 2010)

someday i should probably get this. i love billy but it's the only one i have.

preston (August 6, 2010)

Awesome album. I finally got it on vinyl a couple weeks ago.

Bryne (August 6, 2010)

Classic.

ehx82 (August 6, 2010)

Terrible review.

Carlo_Cabinetti (August 6, 2010)

Gotta disagree about OWTD songs being 'happy-sounding', Ryan sings like he's drunk a cocktail of piss and powdered glass.

slymer (August 6, 2010)

Bought this on cassette right before seeing them with Bad Religion and the Supersuckers. Pretty awesome show.

Terence (August 6, 2010)

I have no opinion or real knowledge about what "emo" or "emocore" constitutes. I will say, though, that when I was in my late teens in the mid-80s, this term first began popping up in MRR and other punk rags. The exact band they referred to as "emo"? Rites of Spring, who had only just put out their first EP.

monostereo (August 6, 2010)

Since when was Samiam--and Jawbreaker for that matter--considered emo? These bands, along with others such as Seaweed and Superchunk, were coming up when I was in my teens/20s, and we never considered them emo. Always thought of it as punk rock, pop punk if you had to push me. Don't know how the definition of emo veered so far off the tracks over the years. Never understood how you could call punk-rock legends like Rites of Spring emo and call crap life Fall Out Boy emo too. Oh well, I am a geezer.

meltingplastic (August 6, 2010)

what do you mean was a good band? i cant wait to see them in october or whenever it is they are playing before heading to europe!

kidgotham (August 6, 2010)

This album is as close to perfection as you can get. I love this band.

hobbzoid (August 6, 2010)

I remember the day I bought Big Choice and Clumsy at the mall. Good times... Samiam was a great band.

nowah (August 6, 2010)

By no means did Samiam create emo.

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