The Fucking Champs



    The Fucking Champs have been playing the role of Bombastic Metal Band in their own home videos for more than a decade now. Lot’s of things about them suggest caricature; a world-conquering band name that only guarantees a limited audience; song titles like “I Love the Spirit World and I Love Your Father” that have their tongues so far into their cheeks they’re practically poking out the other side; promo shots capturing the unassuming trio amid barren landscapes or in front of the setting sun. But it’s not a joke, even if the Champs can’t help chuckle; under photos of cragged rocks and desert sand is three albums’ worth of churning, instrumental whiplash.
    The band’s fourth album, VI (out-of-order numerical album titles, a screwy homage to hard-rock godfathers Led Zeppelin), skews heavily toward the members’ prog-rock kicks. Opener “The Loge” chugs, thrashes, and chugs again, a three-minute capsule of the record. VI flirts with but never touches down into actual metal; at just less than fifty minutes the album breezes by, lighthearted guitar calisthenics that shine bright dominating the sound, more for head nodding than banging. “Play on Words” even provides a minute-and-a-half tangent of acoustic meanderings. It’s a flitting, almost soothing affair; compact, intent, and ultimately forgettable, but not while it’s still spinning.
    But an album like this isn’t meant for digestion; that’s not the point. This is Friday-night-basement music. It does exactly what it wants to do, which is not that much. The Fucking Champs are missing ambition, not chops. Good for them.





    Previous articleNew Believers
    Next articleSoft Skeletons