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Astray Review

by Ron DePasquale

Samiam shows that a band can stay together for more than ten years, get dropped by a major label, and still put out a great record. Astray, the Berkeley, CA, band's sixth album, is vintage Samiam: staccato guitars that suddenly burst, emotional lyrics, and a tight, indie punk sound. Once again, the band continued to push the boundaries of melodic hardcore with Astray. Highlights include "Super Brava," "Calloused," and "Dull," the last a flowing song long enough to have different movements. A telling line: "I've had a lot of time to think, and I'm so tired of thinking/I know why he put that bullet in his skull/because life can be so dull." While the band's name is borrowed from Dr. Seuss, the music is more sophisticated than children's books, as well as most punk rock.

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