Frank Black and John Flansburgh had a baby, and they named it Day Camp.
Rarely do I get the opportunity to see a band live BEFORE I get my hands on their recording, but I was lucky enough to share the Mainstay stage with Day Camp recently and, frankly, fell in love with what I heard. So, when I found out they were releasing their first EP, I (quite literally) dropped what I was doing and rushed out to pick it up.
The cover of the 8-song eponymous EP features a Maurice Sendak-like illustration by Joshua Buckley on a chartreuse background and is a reflection of the lighthearted playfulness of the album.
Josh Biehler and Pat Feghali, who originally hooked-up to form the band Slack Panther, work wonderfully together sharing lead guitar and vocal roles. When you add Nick Hill [Cowgirl, Great Young Hunters] on bass and George Jenkins IV [Oso Bear, Lovely Crash] on drums, what you get a is powerful and energetic collection of very talented musicians and song writers.
The EP was engineered and mixed by Biehler and mastered by Dave Davis of The All Night Party.
Day Camp opens with "There's Only Room for One of Us" and "Sundown in Bartertown" which have a sound, energy and drive akin to classic Candy Apple Grey-era Hüsker Dü.
The lyrics are darkly hilarious and mesh perfectly with their pulsing rhythms and jouncing staccato phrasing. In songs like "Seatbelts" and "Five Year Plan," lines like "My five-year plan is mostly just to be not dead in a ditch somewhere," remind me of They Might Be Giants' classic album John Henry.
To put it in a sentence, this is an album you can listen to over and over and over again; and I'll bet you find yourself turning it up louder each time around. Another aspect of the recording that makes it that much more appealing to me is that, like TMBG, I can share it with my kids and introduce them to some new great local music.
The interplay between Biehler and Feghali can easily be compared to Kim Deal & Frank Black [Pixes] and, since it looks like Frank & Kim won't be sharing a stage any time soon, I highly recommend that you get out to see Day Camp soon - and as often as possible.
All eight tracks of the new Day Camp EP can be heard and downloaded from daycamp.bandcamp.com. The disc is also is for sale at Rock, Paper Scissors downtown. There also will be an album release party on Friday, February 28th at The Southgate House Revival. with The Sweep, Old City, A City On Fire and Adam Nice.