Album Review: Welcome To Condale – Summer Camp
Welcome To Condale! The top heavy, 80’s nostalgia-filled debut from Summer Camp and Indie Pop equivalent of a fortnights summer holiday with your friends.
When it first starts everything is great, the only thing on the agenda is fun and everyone is having plenty of it. But round about the half way mark the good times begin to slowly deteriorate and as the end approaches, your waiting for it with open arms. Ok maybe Condale isnt that extreme but it certainly fits the rough template of that analogy.
The album starts off in a great fashion with the single “Better Off Without You”, a sweeping, catchy indie pop number thats well constructed and catchy as hell. After that we’re showered with a bunch of other tacks like “Brian Krakow” which play to the strengths of Summer Camps 80’s gimmick really well. So much so that if you close your eyes and listen through headphones, you could very well convince yourself that your listening to the album on a cassette player, in the cafeteria of Shermer High. The synth powered slices of pop pushed further by the dual vocal duties of Jeremy and Elizabeth are thinly veiled and nothing new, but they are fun, light hearted and enjoyable. However around the mid way mark the sugar sweet aesthetic begins to become too much. Tracks in the latter half seem to be tiredly recycling ideas and just dont measure up very well. It’s almost as if the record just flat runs out of steam and momentum. There are moments, im thinking particular on “Ghost Train” where the albums energy levels receive a small jolt and interest is generated again, but as a whole Condale just dosent have the musical legs to carry on to the finish line.
This dosent take anything away from the first half of the record, even after repeat listens I still like the earlier songs just as much as before. As far as singles go theres enough fuel on Condale to keep powering Summer Camp for now but when that runs dry, what then? Theres no denying that this English duo have the ability to make a damn fine tune when they apply themselves, hopefully we can see a lot more of that in their future endeavours.