This is a review of "Untitled" recorded by Lunar Camels. The review was written by Dave Sugden in 2000.
Two things immediately spring out on the three-track demo CD from four-piece "atmospheric rockers" Lunar Camels. Firstly, the obvious aspect to note from their recent live shows is how they have a wide range of influences and styles; this is also evident in their CD. The second point to note is probably hypocritical of me to comment upon, but I will do anyway. "Millennium" is spelt wrong.
But who cares about that, I'm sure you'd rather know what the CD sounded like, wouldn't you?
First track "Words" opens up with a riff and chord progression not too dissimilar to early lo-fi Elastica singles, but rather than have that 70s touch it is delivered in a more modern day indie sound, a touch cleaner, perhaps a little more melodic. Then to add a completely different style to the song, the sound changes direction once vocalist Graham Henderson takes to the mic after around 45 seconds.
Beneath the vocal line is the same riff and the same chord progression, therefore it's the general vocal style that has caused the mood of the song to change. After listening to this track a number of times now, I'm still not sure whether the combined result of this style change is good or bad. Perhaps "indifferent" is an acceptable description, but what can be said is that the band have gone from what was a catchy opening to something that has less of a hook; but has now become more of a "song".
"Gaps" begins like it's going to be one of those "obligatory acoustic ballads" that all demo CDs would appear to contain, and except for a little indie roughness in its delivery that description is probably pretty accurate. Perhaps I should veer more towards saying a "clean melodic guitar" track ahead of "acoustic".
I prefer this song to the opener. This time when the vocals kick in, you still maintain the hook from the guitars; AND a hook from the vocals. Nice one, I like it. But... I've seen Lunar Camels live and this isn't their usual offering which is a shame really; as usual my favourite track is never the style of song any band ever normally writes.
The final track is a bit late 80's / early 90's in style, with a touch of Stone Roses in the guitar sound and similar hints in the vocals. It's a nice ending to the CD, very easy to listen to, potentially popular live (it has that 'something'), though nothing new in musical terms.