Samiam - Whatever's Got You Down LP - Clouds In The Sky Vinyl, a photo by Tim PopKid on Flickr.
No Idea (2013, Reissue)
As loyal readers of this website probably know, I've been on a quest to reclaim some older bands from the 90's that for one reason or another just didn't click with me back then. Seaweed and Jawbox have been the most impactful of these bands, but right on their heels is Samiam. As stated in another Samiam review I wrote, I am going through their discography completely out of order, so I'm getting snapshots of the band at different stages of their career.
Whatever's Got You Down originally came out in 2006, apparently to some mixed opinions. I will have to say, I'm not familiar with that initial release of the album, but it seems that many people have very strong feelings about the production of the record and it's effect on the songs. Well, No Idea jumped into the fray and re-released the record with a completely redone mix. Again, I can't compare it to the original, but I think this record sounds great.
The guitars are full and crunchy, the vocals are clear and the songs all have a great energy to them. There's definitely some aspects of later Samiam records that do remind me an awful lot of Knapsack. Maybe not in the vocals so much, but certainly in the way some of the song structures are set up. Probably not surprising as guitarist Sergie Loobkoff has done time in both bands. Still, this is a very strong album and if the production really was that bad on the original release, it's definitely worth checking out this reissue as everything sounds peachy to me.
I really wish I had been keeping up with Samiam all these years. It's fun having a band that has such a lage amount of records to go out and get all at once, but it can be a bit overwhelming. Thus far it's only been their debut self titled release that hasn't really clicked with me. Every other Samiam record I've heard has been great. And I still have more to go.