EP Review: Camp Trash – ‘Downtiming’

Posted: by The Editor


DISCLAIMER: Camp Trash’s guitarist, Keegan Bradford, is an editor and columnist at The Alternative. With that, we absolutely would not be covering this release if we didn’t believe in the music.

Camp Trash’s debut EP Downtiming is one of those great releases that feels familiar and completely new at once. Fans of indie and emo from the last thirty years or so will likely find a lot to enjoy from the bright vocals, tight rhythm section, and riff-heavy guitars, but it would be wrong to think of Camp Trash as revivalists of any specific genre. Instead, they combine their influences and musical threads, resulting in a distinct and rewarding sound.

The EP opens with “Bobby,” a sunny tune with a loose, Oso Oso-type feel. Lyrics like “You’re the best adaptation of cheap beer and cigarettes” are responded to with sugary pop guitar licks, and you can’t help but be transported to a bonfire, drinking said cheap beer and smoking cigarettes. “Sleepyhead” kicks in right away with a rambunctious intro that pulls back momentarily for the verse. The song’s chorus is catchy with unique lyrics, but things jump up a notch with the explosive bridge featuring some of the EP’s most vivid imagery.

“Potomino” is notable for its more reserved sound compared to the rest of the songs, and it’s a great chance for Camp Trash to show what they’re capable of. The song keeps the same basic rhythm guitar pattern throughout, doubled on acoustic and electric, giving it a feel of a train chugging along relentlessly up to the last chord. Singer Bryan Gorman’s voice takes center stage here, highlighting the way he can lean into certain held out words and phrases, and he does a great job of carrying the song. 

The group follows “Potomino” with “Weird Carolina,” a barnburner full of sick riffs, and evocative lyrics, punctuated by tight drum fills. As closing songs, they seem perfectly sequenced for a live set and it’s hard not to picture yourself in a crowded room, rocking out as Gorman sings “the mountains don’t know my name.”

For a first release, Downtiming is considerably confident. Camp Trash sounds like a band with a clear idea of what they’re going for, and they nail it here. Like the best EPs, Downtiming is one you’ll want to immediately replay when you finish, looking to spend a little more time in the sonic world that the band has created.

Disappointing / Average/ Good / Great /Phenomenal

Aaron Eisenreich | @slobbyreject

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