Sammy: Jesse Hartman, Luke Wood (vocals, guitar, bass); Corn (drums).
Recorded at J. Maiken's house and Corn's house, Great Neck, New York on August 1-6 and January 20, 1993.
All songs written by Jesse Hartman and Luke Wood.
Personnel: Geoff Sharkey, Jesse Hartman, Luke Wood (vocals, guitar); Mick Hodgkinson (vocals, keyboards); Paul Simmons (vocals); Keith Gemmell (flute, saxophone); Mick Underwood (drums, percussion); Martin Rushent (tambourine).
Recording information: J. Maiken's House, Great Neck, NY (08/01/1993-08/06/1993).
The members of Sammy have apparently enjoyed the early work of Pavement too much for their own good, and it shows on all of their releases -- Debut Album, of course, is no different, laying out sloppy indie rock that stands about halfway between pure convention and the sound of more straightforward Pavement tracks like "Box Elder." One can make a few allowances for the fact that Debut Album was released in 1994, when Pavement imitation was a fairly new thing, but given that Pavement's work is so much better, and, in hindsight, has proved far more lasting and inventive than most of their followers, it's hard to make too many excuses here. Even Debut Album's vocals are a match for Steve Malkmus', which begs the question: how much do you, the listener, care that this is rather derivative? If you care at all, then Debut Album (and all of Sammy's work) might seem unconscionably worthless, but if you really don't mind the second-string Pavement act (and keep in mind that Sammy doesn't add anything to the sound the way a band like Yatsura does), then Debut Album might seem like moderately pleasant listening, or at least something to crack out if you ever get bored of listening to Slanted and Enchanted over and over again. Of course, pretty much anyone who enjoys this sort of sloppy rock would be better off turning to bands like the 3Ds (who developed their sound pretty much simultaneously with Pavement) or Yatsura (who added a few valuable tricks to Pavement's sound). ~ Nitsuh Abebe
NME (Magazine) (7/16/94, p.38) - 8 - Excellent - "...Sammy sound like Pavement. A lot like Pavement....a cherishable cache of battered but dependable genius tunes....Talent borrows, we have been advised, while genius steals. Sammy manages to do both simultaneously. You'll love it..."