Champion – Promises Kept

Promises Kept

Bridge Nine had a heck of a year in 2004, releasing lethal albums from Outbreak, Stand and Fight, and many more. However, my favorite Bridge Nine album this past year was easily Champion’s Promises Kept.

I really didn’t know too much about Champion when I got this CD, but I had seen the T-shirts popping up more and more at shows and heard a lot of talk. I’m lazy and my Internet sucks, so I never really got around to hearing much Champion other than what my friends played for me, and there is, indeed, a reason the band has been attracting so much attention lately, and it is simply that these guys are fucking amazing.

They do so much more than most straight-edge hardcore bands and actually make it something interesting to listen to. The basic formula is the typical straight-edge sound with occasional nods to the old school. What really separates Champion from the pack is the songwriting and ability to incorporate melody into the sound, making for an overall more appealing listen, whereas most straight-edge hardcore bands are all about speed and mosh parts.

Particularly, Champion isn’t afraid to stray a little outside of the straight-edge box and do some different things. These guys aren’t afraid to stretch their chosen genre’s sound, but at the same time they can churn out short brutal songs with the best of them. I really enjoy listening to Todd Preboski’s drumming because he uses more than the two or three beats that typical hardcore bands use over and over. They found their niche in straight-edge hardcore, but haven’t cornered themselves into mediocrity.

Almost every Bridge Nine record is quality, but with Promises Kept, the label has really outdone itself. Champion takes what I consider to be the second stalest genre next to metalcore and makes it worth listening to. I think I might go edge. Not.