Camcorder is a three-piece band from the UK that recently released their debut EP entitled Manifest Misery. There isn’t a whole lot of digging you will need to do to figure out if you will enjoy their music. The music is reminiscent of bands like Weezer, NIrvana and Local H. It’s a sizable dose of ‘90s alternative rock and done quite well at that.
The production and recording quality is good. I could clearly hear the vocals, the guitars were meaty with mid-range frequencies and the snare drum cracked. Manifest Misery won’t be winning any awards for most innovative rock album but the songs are very well written and there were a couple of inspired moments that hinted at even better things to come from the band.
The album opens with “Wither” which is more or less a mix of a band like Weezer and Nirvana. It’s catchy and the vocal melody is really the anchor in the song. On top of that the lyrics avoid simple platitudes and clichés. The singer put some thought into what he was saying. He sings, “Once free I'll be a tour de force of evil, Crashing from the skies, collide where the saviour lies. Death-proof? I am. Not someone to fuck with, No life isn't fair. Life is never fair. You'll see.”
Nothing says ‘90s alternative rock more than chorus/echo effect like Smashing Pumpkins used to implement. “Longest Loser” starts with that effect and a riff that mirrors Nirvana’s “Big Long Now.” The riff is just an intro into what becomes a fairly predictable, power cord ridden song.
The band's best and worst moments come on “Say.” The initial riff sounds like pop-punk. Once the vocals entered I was more on board and somewhere after the two-minute-mark the band launches into the kind of riff I was hoping for. It’s short-lived but at least they proved they could come up with something this inventive. The band closes strong with “Low.” It’s arguably the most memorable and catchy chorus when they sing “And I feel so low.”
Overall, the three-piece is off to a good start but have some work ahead of them if they want to compete with popular indie acts. I’ll say that the band Weezer popped into my head a little too often. Some of the delivery feels similar and you don’t want ever to sound like a facsimile. As a whole the band feels more like a concoction of their influences rather than having a singular, defined sound. It’s really not much of a surprise considering they haven't been around a long time.
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