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This Is Camera

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Album Review

In the wake of the Strokes gale force impact on the media, for a while it seemed like every town of any size was spawning bands playing stripped-back garage-influenced rock that simply reeked of hip caché (either real or imagined), and on first glance Pittsburgh, PA's Camera appear to be the latest (and somewhat belated) entrants in this sweepstakes. The comparison seems all the more apt given singer Shane Sahene's slight but noticeable vocal resemblance to Julian Casablancas, but there's one big difference between Camera and most of the bands of this ilk — Camera sound like they're actually having a good time, and their debut album This Is Camera shows they're not afraid to work up a healthy sweat while rocking out. While Camera's sound is appropriately lean and concise (and Jim Diamond's production makes the most of their efficient tone), they also have an impressive way with a hook and a jagged melody, and tunes like "She She She" and "Let the Sun" suggest these guys listened to some vintage soul grooves along the way (and bassist Joey Dello Stritto has the chops to be able to make like James Jamerson without sounding foolish). While Sahene consistently tries to play like he's the hippest guy in the room, his energy and sharp wit suggest he'd at least be fun to have at your next party, and the band delivers sounds that will actually brings folks to the dancefloor, especially the rollicking "Ladies Before Gentlemen" and "She's a Good Girl." This Is Camera is good, smart fun from a band with enough to offer that you wouldn't mind them scamming all the drink tickets — who knows, with a little luck, they might actually be able to afford that champagne they're drinking on the cover someday soon.

This Is Camera, Camera
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