2002 EP for former pro-hockey star who's opened for INXS & Simple Minds. Produced by Blinker The Star's Jordon Zadrozony. Six tracks including the singles, 'Don't Walk Away Eileen' & 'Where Have All The Good People Gone... more »?'. Winning critical acclaim in Canada the album is described as, 'the rock 'n' roll equivalent to a bowl of Wheaties - meant to kick start the day of elite athletes & regular citizens alike'.« less
2002 EP for former pro-hockey star who's opened for INXS & Simple Minds. Produced by Blinker The Star's Jordon Zadrozony. Six tracks including the singles, 'Don't Walk Away Eileen' & 'Where Have All The Good People Gone?'. Winning critical acclaim in Canada the album is described as, 'the rock 'n' roll equivalent to a bowl of Wheaties - meant to kick start the day of elite athletes & regular citizens alike'.
"This guy first came to my attention while I was visiting Calgary, Alberta Canada during the summer of 2003. I heard one of his songs on the radio and then I noticed my friend had a copy of his EP at home, so I decided to give it a listen. Half of the EP grabs you immediately and the other half grows on you pretty quickly. This is some totally fun stuff! I can't quite describe what it's like, not because it's something way out there but because it's actually quite conventional sounding. Sam Roberts' greatest asset is that he doesn't require gimmicks or avant-grde posturing to put out some good straightforward rock. The track 'Don't Walk Eileen' is the catchiest number on the album and the one that grabs your attention first. This guy is like the (...)child of BTO, Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Beach Boys, Rick Springfield, Grand Funk Railroad and God knows what else. I sense a touch of that late 70's/early 80's pop-rock vibe in his stuff. Every song is well crafted, with distinct instrumentation and fine, tight musicianship (made all the more impressive by the fact that Roberts played every instrument on the album except the drums.) 'My Love Is Freeing' is a slow laid-back song that starts off with a quirky guitar part and some slightly off key singing, but the chorus refrain soars in such a fantastically mellow way that it's not easy to say what it sounds like. Everything here sounds very familiar and you can hear 1000 different bands and influences in his sound, but you can't exactly say who or what. Roberts mixes everything up so well that he actually gives us something new without even trying. 'This Is How I Live' sounds like a hillbilly rave-up squeezed through the pop harmonies of Cheap Trick. It also features the immortal line ''I'm young, dumb and ready to come ALIVE!' I really can't put any of this down in words. Another outstanding fact is that Roberts originally intended to use this album as his demo, but I guess Canadian radio picked up on the track 'Brother Down', which kinda sounds like an indie rock tune, but catchier than anything Sebadoh or Pavement would ever put out, and from there this 'demo' spawned three hit singles. The 'Brother Down' video helped too, featuring Sam's band stranded out to sea on a small boat trying to figure out what to do as their supplies dwindle. Wait'll you see the fate of the clumsy, annoying guy. Another great tune is 'When Everything Is Alright' which sounds like all those fun 70s bands, like Foghat and Thin Lizzy, but speeded up to an almost punky tempo and some vocal harmonizing on par with Brian Wilson and family. The EP's real standout track is 'Where Have All The Good People Gone?'. The song opens with the line 'Oh, the Milky Way, has gone a little sour.' And just ascends from there. It has a timeless feel, combining a Beatles-like melody with a good old classic rock stomp beat and some semi-jazzy jangle guitar noodling. When the song slows down, it shows traces of psychedlia with a slight synth note that veers dangerously close to prog rock without actually going into that territory. Everything on this EP sounds very well thought out but so deceptively simple that it seems as if its something he just threw together in his spare time (which he probably did.) It's really all quite good and should get more exposure. Unfortunately, America is always adverse to anything coming out of Canada, if said artist hasn't moved to the States first."
A must-have record
redstonerocks | Halifax, N.S. | 09/30/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this EP after hearing Brother Down on the radio and was pleasantly surprised to find that all the tracks are as strong as Brother Down. What works is the spontaneity of the riffs - the songs really move. The songwriting is the strong point, as Roberts channels the best of Jane's Addiction, Elvis Costello, and even the Beach Boys into a neat package."
Canadian talent at its best!
Marcus Berzins | Toronto, Canada | 02/28/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I purchased Sam's six cut cd a few months ago after the highly overplayed Brother Down and i realized that this Montreal native had more then a one hit wonder on his hands. Since buying the album i have seen Sam open for the Hip in Hamilton and also in Guelph for a feature act. I must say that their performance was impressive to say the least. Sam is a proud Canadian boy with his Canadian roots evident in most of his songs, refering to the great 401 and chanting socialism in two of his new songs. Sam definetly appreciates his fans and we should show him the same by purchasing this album and not downloading it! I also suggest seeing Sam if he's ever in your area, he sure knows how to keep a crowd."
Thank God Sam found his true calling...
Marcus Berzins | 11/17/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sam is a true talent. A fun album with catchy tunes you will be humming all day. I agree with the influences/connections that the other reviewers have suggested and would suggest that there is some Jane's Addiction type of influence here as well. Fantastic first effort, head and shoulders above most of the stuff on the radio today. Can't wait for a full-length disc. Really glad that Sam got all that pro-hockey stuff out of the way to move on with what he was meant to do!!!"