hardworking, innocuous, deserving

Outpost (MCA)
The Samples

By Kory Wilcoxson

The Samples may be one of the better bands you have never heard. The group has been a strong presence in the independent record industry since their first album in 1989. Subsequent years brought four more indie releases, a home video, and unending months on the road.

Their hard work paid off in their hometown of Boulder, CO, and abroad. Outpost marks their major label debut, and gives a good representation of why the Samples have gained such a following.

Their music is innocuous without being bland, although lead singer Sean Kelly's vocals can be so relaxed that at times he sounds like Ernie from Sesame Street. Often, the band relies on harmonies to carry the song, a la the Meat Puppets.

A few of the songs on Outpost could draw more exposure for the Samples. Both "Anyone" and "Shine On" have an enjoyable feel, capitalizing on the band's subtle, pop-driven delivery. The Samples are one band that deserve success for all the hard work they've put into their music.