The Campbells is a band from Minneapolis, MN who recently released their fourth release entitled The Ebb and Flow of the Up and Down. It’s nothing for bands to pay homage to bands of yesteryear as well as a couple of decades past. Not unlike Foxygen, The Campbells seems to align most with American rock ranging from the ‘60s and ‘70s.
The Ebb and Flow of the Up and Down is very well written and well delivered but also like Foxygen doesn’t push the sound into new territory. There's nothing wrong with that at the end of day but that also means you are in a way are competing for the ears of the listener with those bands that you tipped your hat to in the first place.
The Campbells is a very pure sounding rock band that makes you have a visceral reaction. They are at their best when they are straight up rocking out. Luckily, that's what they do most of the time. Take for the instance the pleasant and on the verge of raucous sounding opener “Free Your Mind.” The vocals are pretty energetic and dynamic while the music provides plenty of power. It’s hard to have any qualms with “Free Your Mind.”
“The Ballad of Lucy Jones and LeRoy Brown” is more or less pure Americana drawing from a band like Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers and even John Mellencamp except veering towards hard rock. The band tones it down with melodic guitar picking on “Little Lies and Common Sense.” There is also a good story on this track. The vocalist avoids clichés as well poetic ambiguity. He sings, “well I'll tell you one day these criticizing people come up from Sundays they're breaking bread and they're coming out to pray they tell me they'll save me but never remember my name.”
The title track is arguably the hardest rocking track while “Don't Get Up Too Fast” interweaves a sense of nostalgia amongst the rocking out. “Don't Get Up Too Fast” is nostalgic from the delivery as well as the lyrics. The vocalist sings, “and where do we go? and where have we been? we are naked when we leave we are naked when we come back in.” The band for whatever reason goes out with a whimper on “Broken Hearted Lullaby.” It’s a decent song but I would have preferred to them to go out with a bang.
The Ebb and Flow of the Up and Down isn’t going to make your jaw drop but it certainly is worth some of your time. This band has a great energy and definitely will be appreciated by many people.
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