The Sidekicks - Sam [7 inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Sidekicks

Sam [7 inch] (2008)

Whoa Oh

The Sidekicks follow up their full-length of last year, So Long, Soggy Dog, with this four-song 7" for pop-punk aficionados Whoa Oh Records. Sam is another dedication to a beloved pet dog of the same name that passed on at one point or another. Though one of the only hints you had from the previous release was the title, a closeup of the seemingly lovable mutt's face with a drawn-on halo on the back cover here gives a face to the name.

Sam leans a little bit more towards the reserved quasi-folk-punk side that bubbled up on Soggy Dog, with considerably smooth melodic edges that emphasize vocalist/guitarist Steve Smith's conversational narratives."You, you help me to defy most of my flawed logic," he says in opener "Hop on a Sea Cow & Manatee Up." "In the end, I hope your diligence makes a difference 'cause now all my lights burned out." Yet the band maintains a certain grit through the course of the 7", balancing themselves between, say, American Steel and the Riot Before. "Bryant Gregst (Gets Nervous)" provides a sweet picture of this, letting loose a rambunctious howl between prettier moments of restraint.

Sam is a more-than-solid and sincere listen, making for a nice late-year entry that tempts you to carve out a spot for them in your Fest schedule.

Hop on a Sea Cow & Manatee Up
I Burned the Crops

Bryant Gregst (Gets Nervous)