State Champion – Stale Champagne
Sophomore Lounge Records 2010
[tags: garage country, LP, 2010]
Listen while reading:
Come See What I Have Done (from Stale Champagne) Download it!
Keeping Time (from Stale Champagne) Download it!
Last post here on CFM was about the new Midlake Single and we will stay on the same path for two reasons today. First: again it’s a vinyl only release. Second: both bands are not quiet what you call folk artist. State Champion call themselves garage country and I stick with it because it describes the sound very well that combines the loudness and rawness of garage rock with the nice guitar and string melodies and devoted vocal style of alt country.
State Champion are Ryan Davis (vocals/guitar/piano) Aaron Osbourne (drums) Mikie Poland (bass) and Sabrina Rush (violin/mandolin/banjo) hailing from Louisville/Kentucky and they just recorded their debut album called Stale Champagne that will hit the road at the end of January 2010 (01/26/10) on clear vinyl and on vinyl only! So put some money aside if you are in the mood for some fresh country driven music.
This brings me to the most interesting point: the music istself. If you listen to the record the first time you will realize the raw power of it and maybe you are a bit scared too. But after listening a couple of times you really get the good feeling of it because the quite parts (Come See What Have I Done) change with the more intense songs in a very good way to create a positive overall structure of the record that deters it from becoming boring. And so you have heavy rockers like Help Me Sing or Just An Answer just along with calm and gentle tunes or songs that combine loudness and calmness in one run (The World Don’t Need Me Around Much Anymore).
Even though the comparison to Mumford & Sons is nothing that fits too well, I think State Champion managed to prevent the mistake (if you want to call it so) Mumford & Sons made in rushing forward through the whole record without looking back all the time until the last track just slows it down a bit. This can be easiely considered the pure strength of Stale Champagne because it catches you at every moment with powerful garage sound or thoughtful alt country, like in The Years that starts very gently and ends up being a rougth garage country stomper sort of thing.
So if you like alt country and you are not afraid to rock your ass off while sitting on your couch with a cold beer in your hands actually listening to the songs that come out of your speakers, you may find a nice album with Stale Champagne to start the new year with. But you should remember that State Champion are not the guys to lull you to sleep, not at all…more likely they will rock you out of your bedroom on a nice Saturday morning.