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Music Review: The Championship – Moving At The Speed Of Darkness E.P.

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The first Verge Festival, held recently in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was an appropriately titled event for local band The Championship to make an impression. Their appearance certainly raised the general awareness of the five piece band and prompted some positive reviews.

Not phased by the event The Championship is a band who many believe are also on the verge of bigger and better things. It seems to be the perfect time for them to break out of Milwaukee and move on and this, their third release on Bear Rifles Records, should help them do just that.

Led by singer, guitarist, and chief songwriter Joe Crockett this four track E.P. Moving At The Speed Of Darkness acts as the perfect teaser for the forthcoming, so far unnamed album, that the band are currently working on.

Previous to this they released Dance Casador, and Midnight Golden whilst also keeping themselves busy playing the Wisconsin circuit. This has seen them build a solid reputation and develop an impressive on stage presence, a fact picked up on by several reviewers following their appearance at The Verge.

A while back LoveSound Magazine nominated the band in their 'Five Albums You Need To Listen To But May Not Be' and Radio Milwaukee listed them as their 'Most Memorable Live Show'. The band is completed by Allen Cote, Travis Doar, Jordan Burich, and another Crockett, John.

Moving At The Speed Of Darkness kicks off with “The Sword”, with its sloping, satisfying alt-country twang it is coloured by uplifting chiming guitar and down to earth vocals. “Heartbreakers” eases in before smoking away into a thick cloud of Springsteen’s Nebraska style atmospherics. It’s a fine indication of what The Championship can deliver.

“Black Cloud” launches with a tasty riff before Joe’s now characteristically authentic gritty vocals arrive. A sure fire crowd pleaser with its crashing guitar and that riff it again highlights the band's undoubted potential. The near jam of the break shows the band's musicianship and character.

All this leads to “Love Shine On Me.” You can all but see those festival hands up in the air, the crowd singing the chorus, and the band basking in their own anthem. Chiming in with gentle guitar and Joe’s downbeat vocals it very gradually builds to a deceptively powerful crowd pleaser.

With some well placed air play and some wider spread festival dates this could be a good summer for The Championship.

In the meantime they have some more local dates planned so if you’re near Wisconsin drop in. Details and a listen can be had by calling in on their MySpace page.

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About Jeff Perkins