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III - 65%

AxelTheRed, June 18th, 2008

There's a reason most metalheads don't know of The Fucking Champs. Although they ARE technically a heavy metal band, the exist outside of the heavy metal genre, actively appealing to the indie rock crowd, the sound of which is heavily recognizeable not only in their sound, but their song titles and whole ironic image that they've got going on. Its heavy metal for the hipsters.

I imagine that my opening paragraph caused 85% of everyone who'll ever read this to immediately close this page and try to eradicate any memory they had of this band. Its their loss, but not yours, remaining 15%.

This album (well, the band really) lacks a bassist. But it does have fine dual guitar work and old-school heavy metal/hard rock styled riffs. The music on III harks back to a better time in metal. A time where bands didn't produce the shit out of an album to hide the paltry organic human touches it would otherwise contain. time when it was possible to imagine that the sounds coming out of your speakers were made by people, not computers and machines.

But its not all so earthy sounding as that. There are synth-based tracks here. "Heart to Heart", "Silent Night, Friendly Night", "Atop the Pyramid That is You" are all completely or predominately synth tracks.

There are a strange mix of songs on III. Some full on rockers. Some simply just guitar riffs. Some synth songs. Some utterly pointless. Some with funny titles("You're Feelings" gets a chuckle from me every time). None with lyrics. The Fucking Champs is an instrumental band, which to me, is a breath of fresh air. Its refreshing to focus on the instrumentation for once, without any vocals ultimately taking the center stage.

Unfortunately the strange mix of songs does absolutely nothing for the album's flow, which in the end is pretty much doesn't exist. III clashes horribly with itself, which makes it unpleasant to listen to as a whole.

III is a good nostalgia album when its running on all eight cylinders, but occasionally four or five cylinders shut off abruptly. I'm not sure if its meant to be like that...but I'm too much of a metalhead to get the irony there if it is.