Champion - Promises Kept (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Promises Kept (2004)

Bridge 9

Some bands just have it. You know, zip, zork, kapowza. Champion is most certainly one of those bands. After releasing a couple of really solid EPs, and making a name for themselves, this Washington hardcore band finally decided to grace us with an LP.

If you've heard this band's past material, you have a good idea of what to expect from this release. Champion plays fast, melodic hardcore with positive lyrics. That's where "it" comes in. There are quite a few bands playing hardcore these days, and even more playing updated versions of older sounds. Still, Champion has that spark. The album's title track kicks things off, as it slowly builds to the boiling point, from that point on, this album will own you. The energy that flows through the speakers is infectious; this isn't the kind of album you listen to while you're studying. "Promises Kept" just refuses to be made into background music, it's hard to sit still, and it's even harder not to sing along. These songs are tailor-made for live shows it seems, but they also work well for one person sing-a-longs in the car.

The positive lyrics are simply stated, but that only make them all the more effective. The songs deal with the topics that you'd expect: friendship, moving on, you know, the usual. Still I can't help but like lines like "We can always remember the past, but we only get one shot at today." Some of this could sound overdone if it wasn't delivered with such force and conviction, but luckily, Champion never goes over the top.

I hear lots of hardcore albums. I hear lots of albums in general, but I still have to appreciate the bands that do it this well. Champion has actually exceeded my expectations with this release, and I can't imagine why anyone who enjoys melodic hardcore wouldn't dig this album.

MP3:The Truth