Conventional wisdom holds that when a well-regarded indie rock band buckles down and signs on to a major label, the cash flow increases and the credibility ceases, both overnight. No one bothered to tell that to Samiam
: although Clumsy
, their first high-profile release, is a career highlight musically, it was virtually ignored by the general audience (and, it seemed, by Atlantic, the band's label). With a glossy sheen that bigger-budget producers and facilities can sometimes yield, most of Clumsy
is so well-polished and (gasp!) radio-friendly that its lack of mainstream success is surprising, if not slightly infuriating. "As We're Told" and "Bad Day" swell with monstrous punk hooks; meanwhile, two slower numbers, "Tag Along" and "Cradle" are, respectively, dreamy and angry enough while still retaining can't-miss melodicism.