The Fucking Champs - VI
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The Fucking Champs

Over the course of four albums now, The Fucking Champs have settled into fairly contiguous themes both musically and in terms of their artwork. While their first release (III, oddly enough) found a couple members standing in a forest, each subsequent album has found the trio posing in front of some sort of a barren landscape with sun either partially or fully silhouetting them.

Despite all members of the group being perfectly illuminated on the cover of their latest album VI, basically this twelve track, forty-eight minute release is about what you'd expect from the trio. There are still scorching riffs galore, with song structures and sounds that play off everything from metal to progressive rock, and as always the group just seems to basically be having a blast in doing so. Considering how many albums they've put out now, to say that they're just doing this to be ironic would be to overlook the oft-dizzying sound that they concoct together.

Basically, the album is split into three different styles. You've got the blistering, nimble, and sometimes ferocious dual guitar and mashing drum workouts that the group has become known for over the years. These include the opener "The Loge," "Spring Break," "Play On Words," and "Fozzy Goes To Africa." All of these tracks clock in at about four minutes apiece and are full-tilt the whole time, turning corners on a dime while leaving smoking fretboards in their wake. In other places, they mix some quieter moments in with their more rocking passages, and the resulting mixture is something like the seven-minute "A Forgotten Chapter In The History Of Ideas," which drops off into spacey, lighter-flying moments before laying the crunch again.

Just to keep the album from being one bit long slew of unfettered guitar workouts, the group actually takes things down a notch in places, including the nearly new age "Insomnia," the ambient synth and acoustic guitar duo of "Dolores Park," and two short guitar solos (including a take on the familiar religious track "Abide With Me"). Essentially, if you've heard the group before, you know what you're getting into here, and if you enjoy them you won't be let down.

rating: 6.7510
Aaron Coleman 2007-04-26 21:07:45