Grand Champeen doesn't just wear its influences and passions on its sleeves. This Austin combo actually prints 'em up in bold type on a faded tour t-shirt. "Let It Be, Let It Bleed, On the Beach, The Gilded Palace of Sin, Heaven Tonight and The Kids Are Alright" shouts out chief Champ Channing Lewis in "Broken Records," reciting a gold standard litany of fine places to begin for kids of whatever age who just wanna rock. And make that both Let It Bes, as this underappreciated foursome regularly prompts comparisons to one of the only '80s bands that truly mattered, The Replacements--though perhaps they're more Beastie Boys with guitars and Thin Lizzy and The Damned thrown in for good measure, as well as pre-MTV Soul Asylum (and the band themselves admit a nod to equally overlooked fellow Austinites Prescott Curlywolf). But at a show, the comparisons melt away--what will echo in your head afterward will be their own canny riffs, licks and hooks as well as clever turns of phrase, as Grand Champeen doesn't just sum up its influences but multiplies them into something old that's teenage kicks again.
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