Alternative music reviews

Campground Effect

Kindling Sept 2003

When I first heard this I was just plain angry – I felt that what could have been a good record had been ruined. The drums sound hollow and like they are in another room. The guitar is trebly and all the heavy riff work gets lost – only the vocals stand out. I wanted production like Lake of Dracula album – turn it up and get bounced off the wall by the sonic punch. Campground Effect are a 3 piece US rock band and this is their second album. It’s a raw affair, they have gone for a live sound. It’s obvious similarities are with rock bands like Nirvana and Fugazi – the sort of band you need to see live in a packed, sweaty club and come out soaked with your ears ringing.

Repeated listening has led me to like this album and love the energy and guitar work. It has loads of guitar noise, anger, angst, and shouting.Strangely enough my favourite moment is the first 30 seconds of Permanent Hospital, before the screaming starts – if they ever add subtlety to their armoury then Campground Effect are going to be a force to be reckoned with. I still have a feeling that this album was a missed opportunity but that’s because I like the music. The next step Campground Effect need to make is like the move Nirvana made between Bleach and Nevermind – a near impossible task but one most bands don’t even line up on the starting blocks for.

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