Get it right
'Whatever's Got You Down' is the band's seventh album and the first since 2000, following their self imposed hiatus where nobody was really sure if the band had split up for good.
Starting with 'When We're Together' it all begins on a positive note with a huge drum sound and big production all round it certainly makes you sit up and take notice right from the start. There's no escaping the very distinct vocal style of Jason Beebout but that's no bad thing as it gives Samiam that unique quality that so many rock bands lack.
Tracks like 'Take Care' and 'Get it Right' may differ in pace but they both feature the same good melodies that are part of Samiam's appeal. By the time you get to 'Storm Clouds' though this is in danger of becoming a double edged sword as many of the songs create a similar feel and sound. What's needed is a stand out track that either rips the whole album apart or takes it to a different level, just something to reignite the spark that lit up the start of the album.
There are lots of decent songs throughout and a few really good songs such as 'Anything' but just to counter it there are a couple of fillers, 'Come Home' in particular lacks the energy and the tune to put it on a par with its contemporaries. 'Are You Alright' sounds a bit like The Pixies and comes close to being the aforementioned stand out track but doesn't quite make it, neither does closing track 'Bide My Time', which promises much with a solid verse but then fails to deliver the expected chorus. Overall that's the story of the album, it's good stuff but it just lacks the magic ingredient.
There's plenty to like however and as well as rekindling interest in the back catalogue from new converts I don't think older fans will be disappointed. There is a short but entertaining 'secret' track at the end too!