Samiam - Astray (Cover Artwork)


Astray (2000)


What is this band,anyway, how do you catagorize a band like this? I hate to call them emo or emo-core, because that doesn't tell us anything. It seems like every band is considered emo these days, from Dashboard Confessional to Fugazi from Snapcase to A New Found Glory. So I wont call this band emo. Samiam are a hybrid of punk, stadium rock, emo, hardcore and indie rock. On their newest album "Astray" we find Samiam's most solid effort to date. Listening to a band like this is like a breath of fresh air. In a punk scene dominated by immature pop-punk like Good Charlotte, Fenix TX and Sum 41, its good to hear a band that means what they say. The first song "Sunshine" is a highlight on the CD, a great altena-rock song. This song would sound good in an arena or in an intimate club setting. Other good tunes include "Mud Hill", "Calloused", "Mexico", and the ultra emotional "Why Do We". The latter is a pavement-style indie rocker until the heavy chorus seemingly comes out of left field, knocking you on your arse if you aren't expecting it. Like most of the songs on the album, the lyrics are far from cheery. Vocalist Jason Beebout seems like a pretty tortured guy, although if you read the bio on the Samiam website, he comes off as pretty goofy. Either way, the lyrics tend to be honest and sad, and at times, you almost want to cry for this guy. This is a CD that would sound at home on modern rock radio, yet this band exudes so much more "punkiosity" then most radio-friendly pop-punk acts. This is a band that has payed its dues, so do your ears and their wallets a favor, and purchase this album, perhaps one of the best "emo" (ugh) albums ever released.