Whatever’s Got You Down

Hopeless Records

This is what Husker Du would sound like on a kinder, gentler label. Samiam features stunning lead vocalist Jason Beebout buried under a wall of sound created by an energetic and enthusiastic back-up band. Getting the lyrics takes more than a few listens, and the small scribbles in the extensive liner notes need a magnifying glass and a belt of scotch to decode, but they are worth the effort. The soulful “Get it Right” reunites a couple that shouldn’t have met in the first place, and neither is smart enough to let that dead raccoon lay peaceably in the street. Things go downhill emotionally from there; topics concern all the teary, angry elements of failed relations. But they don’t bother the casual listener, the fuzzed up bass (Jeremey Bergo) and drums (Johnny Cruz) keep their focus on the sound and not the fury. The only danger is you’ll accidentally hear something here that applies to you when you don’t expect it, and burst into tears at a stop light.


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