Samiam – Astray – Review


Astray (Hopeless)
by Tim Den

The original kings of emotional rock/punk are back, releasing their first real new album (’98’s You are Freaking Me Out was recorded in ’96) in God knows how long. Taking the cue from their wildly successful “She Found You” single, Samiam has written an album full of tunes most radio scrubs wish they had the brains to come up with, and most indie bands wish they had the melodic bones to understand. Featuring a new drummer and the first album appearance of now-old-but-comparatively-new bassist Sean Kennerly (who joined right after the completion of You are Freaking Me Out, which means he’s been in the band for four freakin’ years without doing an album with them), Astray takes “She Found You” to the next level: chirping guitars, soaring vocals, well-balanced fire and icy calmness that refuses to back away from a catchy line. You can’t fight hooks this big. Almost any of the songs here could be in “heavy rotation” yet still be evocative. This might be Samiam’s second shot at the big times…
(PO Box 7495 Van Nuys, CA 91409)