They used to be be called The Champs, but that name was already taken. They briefly called themselves C4AM95, but that was naff. Then they became the Fucking Champs and that is how they remain. They are one of the finest three-piece guitar/guitar/drums instrumental progressive metal bands to emerge from Santa Cruz. The band consists of Joshua Smith on guitar, Tim Green on guitar, and Tim Soete on drums. Tim, Tim, and Joshua. They are nerdy-looking. They do not have a bassist. They play other instruments, such as Mellotron, but clearly their first loves are the guitar and the drum. Their drum is not hum-drum.

The Fucking Champ does riffs. That is their trademark; riffs. Precisely-played riff-based instrumental metal which they call Total Music. In the German language that would be Gesamtmusik. The Champ's Gesamtmusik sounds like Queen, Iron Maiden, Motörhead, Judas Priest, early Metallica and so forth, but they are not naff. Their collision of influences and their musical style is so unfashionable as to be fashionable. Two-thirds of the band is called Tim.

Although the bulk of the band's catalogue is strictly guitar, synth effects and drums, they do occasionally experiment with vocals. They are a bit like Trans Am in this respect. They are an instrumental group that has vocal tracks. The riffs are heavy and cartoonish, but they sound awesome, like the exploding fires of hell reflected in a blood-red sky. Their music would make the perfect alternative soundtrack for a film of Warhammer 40K. When I listen to their music I imagine armagaddon. Their song titles are puns that tend to deflate the music's heaviness, such as "What's a Little Reign?" and "Esprit de Corpse".

In 2001 the Champs did a record called Double Exposure with Trans Am, using the name TransChamps. Their output to date includes numerous 7" singles and cassettes, and the albums 'III' (1998, a double album released under the name 'C4AM95'), 'IV' (1999), and 'V' (2001), all for Drag City records. They have a website at http://www.thefuckingchamps.com/. In 2004 they released another record that was recorded with Trans Am, this time under the name The Fucking Am, and the record was called 'Gold' just like the Spandau Ballet song. The Fucking Champs themselves are still going, as far as I know, which isn't very far but who else will save you? Who else?

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