Grand Champeen

Battle Cry for Help (Expansion Team)

Record Reviews

Grand Champeen

Battle Cry for Help (Expansion Team)

Here's some advice for Grand Champeen: don't get involved with Tabitha Soren or Winona Ryder. If these kids adhere to that dictum, everything else should be cream cheese. Why? Well, when li'l Davie Pirner got mixed up with those two, his band started sucking wimpy power-ballad ass. Seeing how Grand Champeen does Clam Dip and Made to Be Broken-era Soul Asylum as well as Soul Asylum ever did, it would be a shame to see another bitchin' cool rock & roll band victimized into mediocrity by a couple of foul temptresses. And on Battle Cry for Help, the local foursome's second full-length effort, Grand Champeen connects with (pre-October) Barry Bonds-like power and frequency. Suffice it to say: sophomore slump my butt. The album may be best described in terms of what it's not. It's not boring, not slow, not dimwitted, not clumsy, not always nice ("Miss Out"), not for expectant mothers or the weak at heart, song-to-song not much longer than Bob Pollard's attention span can handle, and not much for wasted motion. On just about each of the LP's 14 tracks, the formula is pretty simple: get in, tear it up, get out, do it again. Not an equation of groundbreaking genius, perhaps, but Battle Cry for Help does what it does -- namely rock with unapologetic zeal -- so well that lack of originality is no deterrent to grabbing the volume knob and cranking it just a little further to the right.

***.5

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Lonestar
Lonestar (Record Review)

Libby Webster, March 22, 2019

Texas Platters
Instant Leftovers Vol. 3
Instant Leftovers Vol. 3 (Record Review)

Libby Webster, March 22, 2019

More by Michael Bertin
Margaret Moser Tribute: Kathy Valentine
Kathy Valentine
Right place, right time, right woman to share the joy with

June 30, 2017

SXSW Live Shot: Mark Kozelek
SXSW Live Shot: Mark Kozelek
Little packages of just-so honesty

March 15, 2014

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Grand Champeen

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle