Photo courtesy of fleetingyouthrecords.com.
By Ted Jamison /// Staff Writer
Champ’s self-titled debut released this month on Austin label Fleeting Youth Records. Never heard them before? Well if Wavves and Cloud Nothings had a big ol’ messy baby, its name would certainly be Champ. How’s that for some sonic lineage? Based in San Diego, these guys fit right in with the sun-drunk, stoner garage rock that Southern California does so well. What we have here is a chunky, noisy collection of fine tunes.
Front man, Joel Williams’ nasal vocals jeer bright and brat-like throughout, but with lyrics like, “Break my face in two…watch me break you too” you get the idea that this is a brat with some baggage worth unpacking. The distortion here is heavyweight and uncompromising but with an unexpected clarity, like sticking your face ears deep into a puddle of icy clear treble. Songs like “Nothing” and “Break” drive so fast you’d think they had a deadline, but slow drippers like “Terror of God” and “Loser” remind you that this is still a slacker stoner outfit.
The question: is it too derivative? Champ is doing nothing groundbreaking here, but though the music may be familiar, does that stop it from sounding damn good? I say no.
About the Label:
According to their website, Fleeting Youth is a brand spanking new label, established in late 2013 in Austin, Texas. Their goal: “to connect and build a community with others that are just as musically obsessed and addicted to analog as we are.” The label is also currently accepting demos. Check them out here.