Samuel - Lives of Insects

I'm reaching back to 1994/1995 here to bring a barely mentioned record back from the dusty vault. Samuel was a five person band who played in the DIY hardcore scene long before we started segmenting things into "indie" and "hardcore" and decided the two should never meet. Samuel could probably be put into the category of mid 90's bands like Texas Is The Reason, Mid Carson July and The Promise Ring. Though, Samuel carries something special with them that sets them apart from all those bands.

With some excellent female vocals and upbeat tempos, these two songs are catchy and exciting. The pairing of some male vocal accents does a great job of pulling off some great harmonies that emphasize the intensity. The guitar work here is interesting. Both guitars are usually doing something different, swirling around each other, but always lock together at just the right moment. The bass work is of some note here as well. Some of these bass lines pull off a great subtly in how they add that extra sense of dynamics. This guy is never just riding a root note, but at the same time, it never sounds too notey or sloppy.

"Lives of Insects" is definitely the stronger track due to it's gripping seriousness and urgency. "Sideways Looker" is no slouch, though. It's a happier sounding tune, but has a great dive in between verses that adds a dark interlude. There's a nice balance there. I'm glad I dusted this one off, it holds up well, even 17 years after the fact.

Download it here.