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The best kept secret in music


"Time Out New York-Saturday March 12th"

"...don't be surprised if the band's hyperfun tunes make you bounce so hard you spill your beer." - Time Out New York

"20/20 Proof Magazine"

Camera/EP's 1,2,3

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. - Peter Divito


"Don't Sleep in the Subway" is built off of three things: a
hyperactive bassist, a suave vocalist, and a drum beat to hold it all
together. The bassist carries the song, putting out the melody and
moving the song along, all while exuding an aura of coolness. The
vocalist, reminiscent of Steve Bays from Hot Hot Heat but with the
added perk of tone, glides along on top of the bass line, also
exuding an aura of coolness. His vocals are pulled back and distorted
just a tiny bit- just enough to make you say, "Man, that's pretty
cool!" There's also some background vocalists, laying down a quirky,
hilarious "Oh! Oh-oh!" line. The drumbeat is simple and solid, giving
backbone to the piece. There's a guitar that throws in chords too,
but it's really just color. The keys are pretty interesting, but
they're atmosphere as well. The band really has a grasp on its sound-
although the song is comparable to many bands, I couldn't pin them
down to one overlying comparison. Their spacious, charming, ultra-
cool pop is definitely one to keep an eye on.

-Stephen Carradini - Stephen Carradini

"Music Preview: 'This Is Camera' captures band without a lot of tinkering"

Thursday, March 02, 2006

There's a quote from the Washington Post on Camera's release party poster that calls the band's sound "infectious mod-pop in the style of the early Kinks and Who with lots of vocal harmonies, bouncy keyboard lines and sharp, slashy guitars."

An unqualified rave, to be sure.

But there's a word the writer used that Joe Dello Stritto, Camera's bassist, has been fighting to suppress for years.

"I just don't think we're a mod band," he's fond of insisting.

With a sigh, Dello Stritto admits it's something of a losing battle.

"As much as I try to say we're not, somebody in a review somewhere ends up using that word," he says. "I told a friend the other day I always liked what Ringo said when they asked him if he was a mod or a rocker. He said, 'I'm a mocker.' In Pittsburgh, even Philly when we're out there, the mod scene, if there is one, is really small and underground. It's not that I don't like it. I do. I like a lot of the bands in that genre. But to me there hasn't been a band in America that has broken that you can say, 'Yeah, that's a mod band.' And I just don't want to be clumped in with that."

He will admit that Camera has played at least a minor role in that description through the years, between all those checkers and stripes and playing mod events and frontman Shane Sahene often looking as though he'd just stepped off the cover of a magazine doing a feature on mod in 1965. And when the members hosted "Where the Action Is," screening the short film "American Mods" and bringing in the mod band that stars in the film, their sponsors included both Vespa and Mini Cooper.

"It's not that we dug our own grave," Dello Stritto admits. "But we kind of did it to ourselves a little bit."

As to how he'd rather people think of Camera, Dello Stritto, an admitted Anglophile, says, "I just say we're a rock 'n' roll band. We lean towards more of the poppy side. It's very dancey and catchy. Not hard rock or anything. So I guess I can see why people would throw the word mod at us, especially when they see Shane."

He's right about it being catchy. Leading up to "This Is Camera" with a string of three EPs between July 2003 and June 2004, Camera's pop sensibilities have never been in question, an infectious brand of effervescent pop recalling the quirkier side of the British Invasion, the danceable side of The Jam and the young Damon Albarn-esque side of the Blur-Oasis War. And "This Is Camera" only takes it up a notch, recorded in Detroit with producer Jim Diamond, known for working with acts like the White Stripes and Mooney Suzuki, neither of which sounds anything like Camera. What Detroit there is on this record, shining through with style and killer hooks on "She She She," is strictly Motown.

As Sahene, who self-produced the three EPs, explains his decision to work with Diamond, "I felt that he had everything we needed. I have a tendency to want to overproduce something, to work it into the ground to where you kill it. But the way he works is, he doesn't waste time. He's very no-nonsense. And I love his recordings. I'm not even a fan of the White Stripes or Mooney Suzuki. But The High Strung records are amazing. I think he's been labeled a little bit, too. But he just really loves music. And the way he works is so much ... almost antiquated, and I think that's what we needed."

So they headed for Detroit, but only after talking Dello Stritto into it by playing to his well-known love of a certain theatrical heavy metal icon.

"We kept telling him Jim was related to King Diamond," Sahene reports, with a laugh. "And I think that's what made him finally go for it."

Diamond recorded the album's 10 songs in a day and half, spent six hours mixing and three hours mastering.

"That's how quickly we ran through it," says Sahene. "And it's strictly because he's such a workhorse. There's no automation. It doesn't go to the computer. It's just going to tape. And I felt like we needed that sort of pressure."

In the end, he loves what Diamond did.

And Diamond likes it, too.

"The biggest compliment we had when the record was done," says Sahene, "is he called a week later. It was late at night, and I think he maybe had a couple drinks or something, but he was just like, 'This record is great. I really love it. You don't understand. I don't listen to music anymore. But I'm listening to your record for pleasure right now, and I can't tell you what a statement that is coming from me.' That in itself epitomizes to me the reason why he was the one to work with. 'Cause he gets it."

The long time off between the third EP and "This Is Camera" coincided, not coincidentally, with a steady stream of lineup changes. The current edition of Camera -- Sahene, Dello Stritto, guitarist Cory Allen (who co-wrote three songs on the album with primary writer Sahene), drummer Justin Chechile and keyboard player Nate the Skate -- has been in place since last September, just in tim - Ed Masley, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"Camera The End Means Hello"

One way to get at a band’s core would be interviewing all its ex-members -- those initially “on the bus,” but who ultimately couldn’t go the distance. Where they stopped is where the real trip begins. Such is certainly the case for mod popsters Camera: Despite lineup changes and an already-considerable history, the debut full-length sounds like a beginning.

Over the past year, every time you ran into frontman Shane Sahene or bassist Joe Dello Stritto, they were replacing a band member.

“I was nervous at first,” says Sahene. “I didn’t want to face the reality of how hard it can be to replace someone.” But the two wisely kept the Camera “brand,” and it worked. Cory Allen slipped easily into ex-guitarist Shawn Bann’s shoes, and newcomers Justin Chechile (drums) and Nate Fitzgerald (keys) completed the transformation.

For This Is Camera, the Pittsburgh-based band tapped Detroit garage-rock producer Jim Diamond (White Stripes, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Mooney Suzuki). The difference is remarkable. Replacing the fey, rattling treble of its earlier EPs is a more resonant, muscular rock approach, reminiscent of The Kinks and early Who.

“Jim was really perfect for us to work with,” says Sahene. “First, because he’s a great engineer. But also because he’s a bass player. For me, that’s the most important element: bass and drums.” Indeed, Dello Stritto’s prominent, meaty bass lines carry the melodies more often than not, similar to Joy Division’s Peter Hook.

The “garage-y” and stripped-down sound of several songs reflects the whirlwind recording schedule, but many sport surprisingly lush orchestrations. For example, “She She She” is almost straight Motown, featuring Diamond on sax. The album closes on a surprising and tasty note with “On Again, Off Again,” marrying a ’60s R&B verse to a slightly calypso chorus, with tons of horns and vocal harmonies.

While Camera can be seen on the surface as a fun-lovin’ retro act with a well-established local niche, this is subtly, but deeply, eccentric music. If you’re aware of Sahene’s moody late-’90s group, Low Sunday, you realize that Camera’s frenetic fun has a flip side. Sahen sees the lyric that begins This Is Camera -- “This one likes the morning sunshine / This one takes it like a pill” -- as autobiographical.

“It’s kind of one long mania: one long stretch on the low, one on the high,” he reflects. “But the material on this record is less reactive, less extreme.” Regardless of how you read the band’s psychology, the new disc makes one thing abundantly clear: Forget past years, EPs and dancing crowds -- this, finally, is Camera.

Camera CD release, with Shade and Black Tie Revue. 10 p.m. Sat., March 4. 31st Street Pub, 3101 Penn Ave., Strip District. 412-391-8334 or
- AARON JENTZEN -Pittsburgh City Paper

"Camera, Lights, Action..."

Camera have been a fixture in the Pittsburgh music scene for a few
years now. Their live sets are a lot of fun. The poppy Brit preening
of their Beat Club rock n roll stylings certainly stood out in
Pittsburgh. One minute you are walking Pittsburgh's South Side or
Strip District and within minutes of entering a Camera show you are
seemingly transported into the 1960's and an episode of Shindig! The
groovy Shindigger dancers are replaced by local girls that you may
recognize from clothing boutiques on Carson Street or profiles on My
Space. Stripes. checkers and moptops bouncing to Camera's infectious
command. More so than any fashion or the Mod scene that Camera gets
lumped into is the fact that Camera take rock n roll back to its
original intent. Making people feel good. Getting kids to dance.

Camera released three EP's since their 2002 debut. The Ep's featured
the same catchy hooks and harmonies that make their live shows so
enjoyable but a little bit of their swagger was lost in the studio
recordings. A series of band member changes troubled the band
throughout much of 2005 but March 4th marks the release of Camera's
debut full-length CD, 'This is Camera'.

Camera enlisted Detroit's Jim Diamond to co-produce the record.
Diamond is the former bassist for The Dirtbombs who has worked with
everyone from the Gore Gore Girls, The High Strung and The Ponys to the
White Stripes, Electric Six and Mooney Suzuki. Diamond is known for
breathing new life into the recording process by reverting to the old
with a studio of vintage gear and analog recording equipment.

Just like Jerome Bettis and the Steelers, Camera left Detroit with a
winner. The finished product is a record that may break Camera in the
indie blogging communities, led off by the first single, Bump Into The

- Brian Cosgrove-Pittsburgh Net Radio

" - CAMERA - EP1, EP2, EP3"

Whether Shane Sahene is tearing off a Ska riff on his trombone, emulating a full bodied brass section on the kazoo or simply shaking his mop-top as his voice leads his Mod-inspired Camera bandmates, he is the consummate showman. This is a fun band that seems to easily inspire their audience to join in the festivities. Formed in Pittsburgh by Sahene and bassist Joe Dello Stritto three years ago, the band tours NYC frequently and you can catch them at such nightspots as The Luna Lounge, Arlene’s or TisWas events at Don Hill’s on a pretty regular basis. They’ve got three EPs out – all with really cool OpArt graphics and hi-tech jewel boxes. The songs, including "One Is Only," "East Busway" and "White On White" are highly representative of what Camera is all about – a big GO!GO! beat coupled with raw energy resulting in a classic rock ‘n roll stomp.
- Jeff Rey -

"Washington Post - 1/12/06"

There are three decent local bands performing at DC9 tonight -- Middle
Distance Runner, Hello Tokyo and Omega Band, but the real draw is the opener, Pittsburgh's Camera. The quintet plays infectious mod-pop in the style of early Kinks and Who with lots of vocal harmonies, bouncy keyboard lines and sharp, slashy guitars. Camera just finished recording an album with garage rock producer extraordinaire Jim Diamond (the White Stripes, the
Dirtbombs, the Ponys), so don't be surprised to hear a little extra uscle
in the group's songs.
- Washington Post - 1/12/06

"Not Lame Recording Company"

Exciting new band from Pittsburgh(and kudos to Not Lamer Mike Polkabla for hepping Not Lame to the band!) who take some slicing of modern-alt-rock-pop bands like The Killers, The Strokes but what makes it so much better than this kinds of post-modern affair is the mod-power pop spirit(Kinks, Who and 80`s mod-pop) and a sound akin to the of melding XTC "Drums and Wires"-era with Haircut 100, 999 and The Vapors. When the handclaps hit(and it is often) on this material, you will be clapping along with big `ole smile. Hell-fire, there`s even some soul punch that sounds like the Commitments doing a new wave revue! Every single song is an out-right winner that hits right between the eyes and deep into the gut as long as you keep the damn volume UP where it belongs. Got it?! "The quintet plays infectious mod-pop in the style of early Kinks and Who with lots of vocal harmonies, bouncy keyboard lines and sharp, slashy guitars. " - Washington Post.".....don`t be surprised if the band`s hyperfun tunes make you bounce so hard you spill your beer."- TimeOut NY. "More so than any fashion or the Mod scene that Camera gets lumped into is the fact that Camera take rock n roll back to its original intent. Making people feel good. Getting kids to dance." - Pittsburgh Net Radio.
Camera enlisted Detroit`s Jim Diamond to co-produce the record. Diamond is the former bassist for The Dirtbombs who has worked with everyone from the Gore Gore Girls, The High Strung and The Ponys to the White Stripes, Electric Six and Mooney Suzuki. Diamond is known for breathing new life into the recording process by reverting to the old with a studio of vintage gear and analog recording equipment. Smart move, too as the guitar bite sharp and hard and all the instruments have a warm sound which brings those late 70`s/early 80`s new wave pop sounds up front. Extremely Highly Recommended!

- - Bruce Brodeen

"WYEP - 91.3 FM Pittsburgh"

Camera has been evolving and making music since a string of three EPs that came out in 2003 and 2004. The question always has been, when will Camera get into the studio and focus on a full length? 2006 is the answer "This Is Camera" is a well produced collection of catchy, quirky, and infectious pop rock and roll songs. The band are influenced by The Kinks, The Who, and The Jam and employed the services of Detroit producer Jim Diamond (White Stripes, Mooney Suzuki). 10 punchy and upbeat songs came out of the sessions to end up on This Is Camera, including "Bump Into Beats" and "let The Sun Come In". Camera is Shane Sahene, Joey Dello Stritto, Cory Allen, Justin Chechille, and Nate Fitzgerald.

- Kyle Smith


This Is Camera - single - "Bump Into Beats"
(released in March 2006)

EP1 - single- "One Is Only"
EP2 - single - "East Busway"
EP3 - single "White On White"

we have streaming and radio airplay


Feeling a bit camera shy


Camera was formed in 2002 in Pittsburgh, PA. The band embodies a sound characterized as invasion-influenced pop. As original as it is classic, the band's bounce and smooth harmonies freshen up a timeless pop structure.

In July of 2002, Shane Sahene formed Camera. The unique rhythm of the band is enhanced by guitarist Cory Allen and drummer Justin Chechile

Camera's recognition has earned them opening spots for The Von Bondies, Hot Hot Heat, The High Dials, and the Modey Lemon. The band has also played at events such as the 2003 CMJ Marathon in NYC, Death Disco at The Delancey presented by BP Fallon and DJ Mojo 2000 in NYC, the 2005 NXNE Music Festival in Toronto, and the 2005 M.E.A.N.Y. Fest in NYC.

Camera has self-released 3 EP's and released their first full-length CD in March, "This Is Camera," Produced by Jim Diamond, of Ghetto Recorders in Detroit.