"The Panic and the Permanence" by Camera

March 12. 2013 | By Nick Schneider


The Panic and the Permanence

“All over the place” is a phrase not often used in terms of endearment by a critic. Camera’s latest release, however, is indeed “all over the place,” and we mean that in the most endearing way possible.

They’ve got rhythmic mojo on “Grazed By Bullets” as evidenced by the hypnotic interplay between tom-toms and bass; they’ve got the quirky energy and scathing sarcasm of Oingo Boingo on “Heir Apparent”; they’ve got David Byrne-esque talk-singing on the eccentric “Pop Radio 101”; and best of all, they’ve got the dark humor of early Stranglers pulsing through every track

(favorite line: “You’re just a girl / Can’t understand / What makes a man act like a man,” from “On A Night Like This”). All of it is backed up with strong musical chops, from the creative drumbeats to the nuanced vocals, which probably saves the tunes from descending into a mess of pure, anarchic noise. Camera may lack an overarching structure, but they really don’t need one as long as the individual songs hold up this well on their own.

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