Remember college radio in the days before Nevermind
? You had shoe gazers, grungers and indie rockers all battling for the grandest of prizes--some spins in MTV's Buzz Bin
. Hailing from Durham, The Sames incorporate a little bit of each of these sub-genres in a sound that fondly recalls the heyday of the Chapel Hill indie scene. And though the band's founding members weren't living in the Dogwood State during this period, their learning-from-a-distance method produced magna cum laude results. In fact, if the first three songs on The Sames eponymous five-song CD had been released as a 7-inch some 10 years ago, it would rank right up with the best singles that that
Chapel Hill scene produced. More specifically, the band's sound falls somewhere between the psych-leanings of early Polvo and mid-period Superchunk, when that band's raw edge was harnessed into more complex song structures. It would be easy to dismiss The Sames for citing such obvious influences but what makes them, well, distinct is their knack for creating infectious tunes, the best of which, "I Wish That You'd Written this Song," with its dreamy vocals cascading over a bouncy-yet-angular rhythm, recalls gaze-masters Swervedriver. (Actually, this is the song Love Battery should have written when they graduated from Sub Pop.) OK, so they might sound
like lots of other bands. But ultimately, the songs remain The Sames.