Once a while there comes a band that never puts enough songs on an album, and takes too long in between them. Camp Radio is one of these bands. Their debut came out back in ’08, ten tight, power pop, sing-alongable songs that hooked in and sounded better louder. Three years – THREE YEARS! – later, one song per year, Camp Radio have finally come around with a killer album #2. “The Girl Who Stole My Motorbike” sets the table with what you can expect over the course of half an hour: big guitars, vocal harmonies, nice ’n’ thick bass riffs, hooks hooks hooks, and Scott Terry’s big, beardy drum-fills. “I Have Designs” kicks into a steady chug, an “early ’90s” punk-rock anthem that would stand out on a Lookout! comp. It’s not all go-go-go, as proven with “I’ve Got You Up My Sleeves,” which takes it into sweetheart territory. Don’t take that as weakling rock; these guys can steep it in sweet without the eyerolling-sickeningness of a pop-ballad. That’s skill. “Slack,” “Cosmic Fair,” “Reinventing The Laugh Track”… really, there’s not a lame song in the pack. The album wraps up with the flexi-disc single “Turn Up The Radio,” marrying the geek-in-the-corner crushiness of a Weezer song with the loud-quiet-loud dynamic of the Pixies in what happens to be one of the best album-closers in recent memory.
Why Camp Radio aren’t spoken in the same breath as Sloan when it comes to great Canadian rock bands, I don’t know. What I do know is that I’m gonna try and change it. Hopefully I don’t have to wait another three years for more proof. Or maybe I’m just greedy. (Kelp, kelprecords.com)
Patrick Michalishyn for Stylus Magazine