Friday, September 7, 2012

Challenger 7 - Payola - 2000

Australia's Challenger 7 are obviously indebted to the Replacements' style of sloppy, catchy hard rock. In fact, inside of the CD insert is a picture of the band in their room in front of a -- surprise -- album flat of the Replacements' Hootenanny. To boot, one of the tracks on this excellent debut is a somewhat literal cover of the 'Mats' "Left of the Dial." Don't write Challenger 7 off as a tribute band, though; Payola has stacks of riffage and a dozen originals on par with many of the Replacements' early songs. Aided in a large part by the production of Aussie pop guru Michael Carpenter, Payola is loud and raucous, but still clean enough to be bold. You won't find any muddied sound here; it's completely crisp, but the crisp sound is masked by the dirty guitars. It is a perfect combination, although it means that sonically Payola sometimes outshines the songwriting of the band members. No worry, though, as even the undistinguished material on this album is enjoyable, and when they hit, as they do on the instant classic "Rock 'N' Roll Sound," the tense "Believe in Me," or the epic ballad "Sunshower," they hit right on. As an added bonus, the album packaging deserves note: The cover features the band dressed in '70s polyester pants and there are countless other kitschy images (bowling shoes, old album posters) throughout. It matches the music perfectly and is ideal eye candy. -AMG


Anonymous said...

thanks for the post. look forward to a listen.

Curty Ray said...

Anonymous said...


Is it possible to re-upload the Payola album please ?



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