Boomkat Product Review:
The long-awaited follow-up to 2002's 'V' (that is if you don't count 'Gold' a collaboration with Trans Am) 'VI' sees the math-metal pioneers with the name you're not allowed to say before the watershed on absolutely top form, shredding their way into stratospheric heights. Regular Boomkat readers will no-doubt be well aware of my obsession with the whole technical rock subgenre (hence my repeat playing of early Don Caballero and my current fanboy obsession with Marnie Stern) but The F*cking Champs were always a little less tech and a little more metal, and on 'VI' they take this sentiment even further. Also, when I say metal I'm not talking about the hipster droning ambience of a guitar left in front of a speaker cone - this is Van Halen style shredding with a few wonky time signatures thrown in to keep you on your toes. Opening track 'The Loge' even manages that most dangerous of things - to sound like Queen's Flash Gordon tune and still come out unscathed, I know that's hard to believe but listen to it, you'll know what I mean. The thing is when you listen to 'VI' (and most of the other Champs records to be honest) you hear a group of guys having fun, playing with the formula a little, making each other laugh - and this is good for us. It's a far cry from hearing metal copyists The Darkness throw down another tired Def Leppard riff, this might be hair-metal influenced, but it's hair-metal by way of King Crimson, and that can only be a good thing. Beware though, listen to this too much and you'll be scouring market stalls for sew-on patches and pewter chains... maybe it's all worth it though eh?