New Red Archives (2012, Reissue)
Billy is the last of the Samiam full length albums that I needed to round out my collection. There are still quite a few EPs and 7"s floating around out there, but at least I have the main ones taken care of.
Billy was Samiam's 3rd full length and was absolutely their best one up until that point if you ask me. It still was reasonably tough and punk rock but it showcased the band's pop songwriting chops way more than anything else they had previously released. For my money, I still think that Clumsy is the best Samiam record, but Billy is definitely no slouch.
Especially when you have a song as good as "Well" on your record. With it's vaguely sinister lead guitar riff and buckets of energy, you could make the argument that "Well" is the best Samiam song they ever wrote. But let's not discount the rest of this album as it quite good for the most part. There's a handful of slower songs that drag down the record in places, but in general Billy has way more high points than low.
It still blows my mind that this record came out in 1992. The fact that these punk rock records that I remember seeing in the record store and passing on because I just wasn't that interested at the time is just weird. I remember it all like it was yesterday. At least with age I was able to go back and appreciate Samiam in ways that I didn't when I was younger. They ended up being a pretty great band.
Samiam - "Well":
Samiam - "Hey Brother":