12 O'Clock Track: The instrumental power riffs on the Fucking Champs' "The Loge" | Bleader

12 O'Clock Track: The instrumental power riffs on the Fucking Champs' "The Loge"

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I've never camped out in line during the early hours of Record Store Day, before the shops open. And I've never printed out a detailed list of the releases I hope to snag before the guy in front of me does. So I've never brought home much of a haul of exclusive releases—save 2009 when Touch & Go released the Jesus Lizard seven-inch box set, Inch.

That said, I do participate in Record Store Day. I just visit stores after most limited releases are gone, or thoroughly picked over. But because I want to (and will) buy some piece of vinyl in support, I usually take home a half dozen records I've always meant to buy, but never pulled the trigger on. The Fucking Champs' VI—featuring today's 12 O'Clock Track, "The Loge"—is one of those albums.

Released on Drag City in 2007, the instrumental album is full of triumphant, metal-leaning guitar riffs and shifting, off-kilter rhythms. The songs are stark but heavy, with proggy guitar melodies that occasionally conjure images of steeds and maidens. And when the album is truly humming and the two guitarists—one of them Phil Manley of Trans Am—join their axes together to create a unified galloping line, VI becomes the soundtrack for a pretty badass fantasy-novel series with dragons and shit.

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