Hey Champ: Star

Hey Champ: Star
Chicago electro-pop trio, Hey Champ finally release their debut album, Star. The album has been complete for over a year but due to label switches and other circumstances, the album has been delay until now.
The problem with an album being delayed that long is it means a lot of these songs are probably two years old or more by now. Luckily, the songs do not feel dated whatsoever. Hey Champ’s sound is similar to other synthpop groups like Shiny Toy Guns or MGMT, but their influences are not limited to just those type of groups.
Listening to Star, a plethora of influences are obvious. On the album’s opening track “Shake” as lead singer Saam Hagshenas sings the chorus of “will someone shake me”, its hard for me not to think of another pop song from my youth. The chorus bears eerie similarities to Weezer‘s “Hash Pipe”. While Rivers sings “come on and kick me”, Saam changes it to “will someone shake me” but it is sung with the same type of intonation that makes it very similar.
The album’s lead single “Cold Dust Girl” sees Hagshenas giving his best Ben Gibbard impression. The track works because it is a little more dance-punk than anything Postal Service has done. The track’s lead guitar sounds like The Edge while the keyboards remind me of The Faint.
In the end, the thing that bothered me the most about Star was it just did not feel catchy enough. Perhaps I’m spoiled by listening to the synthpop bands I mentioned in this review, but many of the hooks on Star just feel a little under developed. That’s not to say that there are not some good songs on the album, but I just felt it could have been better.
Rating: 7.0/10
MP3: Hey Champ “Shake”
Buy: iTunes

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