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""sure to brighten up your normally gray skies""

This isn't your parents' Pittsburgh. There is no blue collar or white collar
classification. Just kids running around the streets at night desperately
looking for the place to be, wondering what the hell they are doing in
school considering they won't be finding a job upon graduation (unless they
flee the steep hills and potholes) , and scouring every corner for good
local music. Camera may not be able to fulfill the youth of Pittsburgh's
employment dreams, but they can fuel their need to find a fun place to be
(check out their live shows) and their desire for local music that is on the
level with many of today's national indie acts. In terms of local music,
many bands in Pittsburgh that are truly artistic have great difficulty
breaking nationally. Listening to Camera's three EP's, it is a wonder that
fans of indie pop music on a national level have not dug their nails into
this extremely talented band. These guys are lo-fi for real, not a group who
recorded their shit in a pristine studio then attempted to make it sound
like they recorded in a garage. Using simplicity as a weapon, Camera crafts
wonderfully catchy pop songs so strong you won't mind them being burned into
your mind. EP1 starts the party off with "That City," a hazy track that
contains some hypnotizing guitar parts, but tends to drift and loses power.
"One Is Only," picks its spots and when it lands, it really knocks you over
with its sexy vocals that inspire you to sing along. "Red 12," which is
possibly my favorite moment, and the most accomplished track from Camera
sounds like a grocery list of everything that is good with music after being
thrown in a blender. The seratonin levels in your brain will be boosted by
"Red 12's" upbeat tempo, perfectly placed guitars, and intertwined, smoky
vocals. EP2 provides some of the strongest moments such as "Showers To
Sunshine," an escalator of enjoyment with its shifting guitars, keys and
lead singer Shane's swinging vocals that will have you wishing it lasted a
tad longer. "East Busway" rocks kazoos, unified vocals, and a rhythm that
will have your foot shaking the floor. "Upside Downtown," contains the
Camera signature, but doesn't really start making in impact until the chorus
hits. Camera's most recent effort, EP3, contains more rock elements than
their previous two EP's, yet is still lighter than EP2 in tone. Shane's
singing seems to be getting more confident and skillful as the EPs progress,
with EP3 being the strongest in the vocal department. "White on White" is a
pure party as it bursts with punch and pep rivaling an individual who has
consumed too much caffeine. The closest thing it brings to mind is two bags
of pop rocks that I ate the other day. I knew what was going to happen, but
boy was it still a hell of a ride. "Rescue" contains a Strokes 2nd album
vibe, but without the whole singing through a bullhorn element and rigid
method of playing. The final track on the EP, a cover of the Petula Clark
song, "Don't Sleep In The Subway" is such a perfect song for the city of
Pittsburgh. Even my mother admires Camera's choices when it comes to cover
songs. Camera has shown with their first three EP's that they have the skill
required to be successful inside and outside of Pittsburgh. The next step is
putting all the tools together and displaying them on a full length release.
If you are always on the lookout for some music you can sing, dance, and
clap to, which is sure to brighten up your normally gray skies, be sure to
check out Camera. - 20/20 Proof

""a signature sound without making every song sound the same""

Camera’s sound is like stuffing ten pounds of
toe-tapping, emo-free punk into a five pound guitar
case. The opening track on EP # 1, “One is Only” sets
the tone for an album that is not shy about keeping
things quick, dense, and alert. It keeps a sing-alongy
hook consistent throughout without plugging a catchy
riff every other downbeat. Camera manages to be catchy
without endless repetition, and “One is Only” is an
auditory appetizer for an album that continues to be
easy to digest.

The next track, “Red 12,” presents a pseudo-Anglo
style of music reminiscent of The Clash. It manages to
sustain a sense of style that is definitive, unique,
but not wholly original. It’s possible to listen to
this album and feel that, maybe, just maybe, Camera is
a homogeneous amalgamation of different influences and
not a band unto itself. However, the sound is
pleasantly light and up-tempo, and the mere fact that
it is enjoyable diminishes the voice of the critic
inside that is all-too-eager to cry out “WANNABE,”
especially in dealing with this genre of music where
anti-image is almost as clichéd as image itself.

The third, and final, track of EP #1, “That City,”
maintains the up-tempo style rife with catchy synth
melodies and pulsing rock rhythms that drive the first
half of this album. Another likeably simple track,
this serves as an easy transition between EP #1 and EP
#2. While this track keeps in with the album’s style
it also remains independent in its sound so that it
doesn’t run together with the previous track. Camera
does a phenomenal job of presenting a signature sound
without making every song sound the same. It shows a
confidence that is infects your listening.

EP# 2 is musically stronger than EP # 1, but it
carries a heavier tone to it. The opening track,
“Showers to Sunshine” oozes a pseudo-Elvis Costello
musical intellectualism that makes you feel as though
you’re missing something. The track ends quickly, and
makes you realize that “abrupt” is a great adjective
for describing Camera.

“East Busway,” the second track of EP # 2 is the
strongest track on either EP. With garage sounds
ranging from hand clapping to kazoos this track draws
together all that makes Camera sound like Camera on
this album. Stuck-in-your-head-all-damn-day synth
beats, pulsing guitar and bass riffs that march along
the chords, and the repetitive chant of background
vocals propel this song along a course so addictive it
almost feels pop.

EP # 2 closes with “Upside Downtown,” a track which
features more of the same. This is another example of
Camera capturing a sound that you can recognize, but
doesn’t repeat itself across the tracks. You don’t
mistake one track for another, they all stand apart
but there’s no questioning they originate from the
same source.

All in all both EP’s offer a casual selection for your
CD player. Nothing on this album will blow your rock
socks off, but your toes tap inside them. A fun,
simple, easy listen, Camera’s EP’s #1 & 2 provide the
kind of music you can have a good time to.
- Deek Magazine

""one of Pittsburgh's best new pop groups""

In the opening scene of "American Mod," a character who then goes on to spend all 18 minutes of the movie riding scooters, scoring drugs and pursuing the ultimate bird explains the appeal of his culture.

"It's about the clothes," he says, "A style of dressing. Shoes. I mean, look at my shoes. Do you see these? These are right on, man."

And they are.

But as much as the clothes -- or shoes -- inevitably make the Mod, that emphasis on fashion didn't stop the scene from spinning off some awe-inspiring music as a sideline, not the least of which you could find on the earliest albums by The Who, whose inspiration can be felt in any decent Mod-revival band, American or otherwise, including Headquarters, the sharp-looking band in the movie.

You can check out both the film, which takes you on a joy ride (via scooter) through the New York Mod scene, and the band tomorrow at the Rex, where Mod Night also features Soulcialism DJ Soccer John and Pittsburgh's Camera, who aren't necessarily Mod but are the ones who called it Mod Night.

"I don't consider us Mods at all," says Joe Dello Stritto, their bassist. "I think we pull some of the influences from the '60s-era mod scene -- '60s Kinks, the '60s Who, Motown, stuff like that. But we were just looking for something to offer Pittsburgh other than the regular show that you see every week in the club."

Although he says "I think we can relate more to this kind of scene than any other scene" and further points out that "I kind of wear my hair the same way those guys [in Headquarters] do," he does not, for example, ride a scooter.

"Me and Curt [Biondich, Camera's drummer] ride Harleys," he says, with a laugh.

So he's a rocker, then.

Another thing that makes this Mod Night better than the average show you can see every week in the club is that Camera, one of Pittsburgh's best new pop groups, is using the night to celebrate the release of a second EP and a re-release, in stereo, of last year's stunning debut EP, which the band had mixed in mono, Dello Stritto says, because "nobody else was doing it."

If Camera is shy about wrapping itself in the Mod flag, Headquarters certainly isn't. "American Mod," in fact, is the brainchild of Headquarters frontman Charles Wallace, who according to the soundtrack's liner notes "created the concept for 'American Mod' in the same milieu of stylish soirees the film seeks to represent."

OK, that's two words I just learned to spell.

But they've certainly captured the spirit and sound of classic mod groups on the soundtrack, "Cakewalk," with production by the Strokes producer, Gordon Raphael.

Saturday's show begins at 9 with Camera and is being presented by Luxx (a South Side Mod shop), Vespa scooters and the Mini-Cooper. Tickets are $5.

- Ed Masley, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette





the band CaMEra was formed in 2002 in the city of pittsburgh. with a sound characterized as invasion influenced original as it is classic. the band's bounce and smoothe harmonies freshen up to timeless pop structure ...from Motown to Carnaby St. ....from Stax to the 100 Club.... with Shel Talmy inspired production. as a touring band, cAmEra desires to bring the Beat Club with stripe the kids, starved by eMpty TeleVision, with a little Ready ..Steady...GO !