Camp Radio
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Camp Radio

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada | SELF

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada | SELF
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Sincere, straight-forward, hook-laden tunes delivered by Ottawa indie-rock survivor Chris Page, drummer Scott Terry and bassist Dave Draves, Camp Radio's solid, sophomore full-lengther makes anything larger than a power trio seem totally unnecessary by comparison. Page's consistent knack for coaxing original, yet timeless sounding riffs out of his guitar is uncanny, and he's always had a strong, distinct vocal style, even going back to his Stand-GT days. Stir that up with Draves' rich, warm production and the fact Campista Socialista dropped in 2011 is almost enough to make you forget about the Tory majority. - Thick Specs!


Dude, admit it: you miss the 90s. Vintage sneakers, Elastica on the radio, plaid everything. I wore fishnets and too much eyeshadow in a quest (not yet fully abandoned) to be Shirley Manson. It was the best of rock and roll times. So when I hear a record that hearkens back to those days, I can’t help but like it — enter Campista Socialista, the second release from Ottawa’s Camp Radio.

On Campista Socialista, Camp Radio has taken the best parts of the power pop genre and mastered them: the jangle-fuzz guitar, the catchy melodies and sad-bastard lyrics, the beat that makes your suede Pumas bounce. They’ve layered them masterfully, in the proper proportions and with just the right amount of careless ease. It fizzes, it hops, and it sticks in your head: it’s rock and roll candy at its finest.

Opening track “The Girl Who Stole My Motorbike” sets the mood right away with Gin Blossoms guitars and girl problems. “I Have Designs” is full of tightly wound drums and anxious lyrics: “I want to act quickly / And show you everything you need / But that seems a lot right now…. And I wonder why I’m sick to face tomorrow.” “Cosmic Fair” has an appropriately spaced-out fuzz; “Turn Up The Radio” floats on an irresistible rising cadence that will, if you’ll pardon the sledgehammer of obviousness, make you follow its instructions.

Admission: these guys aren’t breaking any new ground. Any one of these songs could have come off the Empire Records soundtrack — but I love that. And there’s value in taking something good and doing it great. Together the members of Camp Radio - Frontman Chris Page, bassist Dave Draves, and drummer Scott Terry - have around fifty collective years’ experience in the rock biz, and this experience allows them to create some of the tightest and best-crafted power pop that’s being made today. - Sound on Sound - Seattle, WA


Once a while there comes a band that never puts enough songs on an album, and takes too long in between them. Camp Radio is one of these bands. Their debut came out back in ’08, ten tight, power pop, sing-alongable songs that hooked in and sounded better louder. Three years – THREE YEARS! – later, one song per year, Camp Radio have finally come around with a killer album #2. “The Girl Who Stole My Motorbike” sets the table with what you can expect over the course of half an hour: big guitars, vocal harmonies, nice ’n’ thick bass riffs, hooks hooks hooks, and Scott Terry’s big, beardy drum-fills. “I Have Designs” kicks into a steady chug, an “early ’90s” punk-rock anthem that would stand out on a Lookout! comp. It’s not all go-go-go, as proven with “I’ve Got You Up My Sleeves,” which takes it into sweetheart territory. Don’t take that as weakling rock; these guys can steep it in sweet without the eyerolling-sickeningness of a pop-ballad. That’s skill. “Slack,” “Cosmic Fair,” “Reinventing The Laugh Track”… really, there’s not a lame song in the pack. The album wraps up with the flexi-disc single “Turn Up The Radio,” marrying the geek-in-the-corner crushiness of a Weezer song with the loud-quiet-loud dynamic of the Pixies in what happens to be one of the best album-closers in recent memory.
Why Camp Radio aren’t spoken in the same breath as Sloan when it comes to great Canadian rock bands, I don’t know. What I do know is that I’m gonna try and change it. Hopefully I don’t have to wait another three years for more proof. Or maybe I’m just greedy. (Kelp, kelprecords.com)
Patrick Michalishyn for Stylus Magazine - Stylus Magazine, Winnipeg MB, Canada


Not really sure why...but for some reason in the twenty-first century there seem to be very few bands who can effectively deliver really excellent hard driving pop music (?). There are lots of great pop bands out there of course...but few few who pack a mighty powerful punch like the guys in Camp Radio. It took several spins to sink in but we finally came up with a very good way of describing the music on Campista Socialista. These songs sound very much like a cross between The Young Fresh Fellows and The Chainsaw Kittens. Canada's Camp Radio is driven by the songwriting skills of Chris Page who has also previously been in the bands The Stand GT and The Glen Nervous Retraction. This album has a slightly rough sound that borders on low fidelity...making it sound like it could have been recorded in the late 1970s or early 1980s. This one's all about songs...and there are plenty of cool rockers here including "The Girl Who Stole My Motorbike," "I Have Designs," "Cosmic Fair," and "Turn Up The Radio." - Baby Sue, Chattanooga, TN, USA


Ottawa’s Chris Page is a true Canadian rock and roll survivor. From his work with the seminal Stand GT to choice solo strummings to his best project – at least, in my opinion – the power trio Camp Radio, the man has set strict standards for songwriting and chops. Campista Socialista is record two for the band, rounded out by drummer Scott Terry and bassist Dave Draves, a blistering set of three in a power and pop and punk heart, aided and abetted by smart lyrics, hooks and harmonies. Easily stands up alongside the best of this untired genre: The Nils and The Replacements. - The Hour, Montreal, QC, Canada


Comfortable. It’s hard to believe a band that plays crunching power popping riffs and sings about the type of love and fears we obsess about as adolescents can be comfortable, but that’s exactly why Camp Radio is so important to me. They’re the pair of kicks that I reach for every time I leave the house. They’re the band t-shirt I keep year after year, because of the memories attached to each hole or stain.



What often gets lost in the shuffle is there are two ways to search for new music. The first, and most obvious, is to stumble on the newest bands playing the hottest sounds. Sadly, most of the new genres — I’m looking at you witch house, dub step, however you want to describe anything that sounds like Animal Collective — leave me flat. That’s why I mine the depths hoping to find bands writing new songs that I could have discovered on The Wedge. I don’t want to forget everything I love about the punch of a three piece that refuses to mask melody or emotion adding layer after layer. I don’t want to forget why I love Dinosaur Jr. or GBV. I certainly don’t want to forget how good sugary harmonies sound when they soar over eardrum shattering, face melting guitar and ribcage crushing bass and drums.



You can keep your campy, R&B retreads and your white guy soul music. You can keep your flossing hyper raps. Truth be told, you can even keep your new found love of John & June records and pleasant pedal steel. All they do is make me feel old. For thirty-two minutes Campista Socialista lets me feel young again. I don’t sit around dreaming about high school, girls and drinking beers behind the school; those days are gone (and the nostalgia attached to them isn’t seen through any rose colored glass). I have a mortgage and a family that I hate and love, respectively, more than I thought possible but neither makes me forget how much of myself I discovered listening to music and going to shows.



I think that’s why I connect with Camp Radio. The trio isn’t trying to cash in on some indie rock revival. They’ve loved the same sound for years, grew up with it, stayed loyal to it, and are just trying to perfect those chords and harmonies. Sonic similarities aside, this record couldn’t have come out in the late 90s. It’s taken years of jamming in garages, touring in vans and having your heart broken for Chris, Scott and Dave to get here. They’re no different than you or me in that sense; they’re just sound tracking the whole fucking thing for us. - Herohill.com, Halifax, NS Canada


Sometimes albums appear pretty much out of nowhere and reinvigorate your ears to the promise of authentic music that makes a difference in your day. Such is case with the latest from Ottawa power pop trio Camp Radio. Opening with the majestic and uplifting The Girl Who Stole My Motorbike the album progresses along a pretty straight path to pure musical abandon. Guitar solos are non-existent or rain down like silver riffage (I Have Designs) while splashy, crashy drums and keen bass figures pull everything along like a Cheap Trick wet dream. The production is just a little bit lo-fi and if some of the others kids making music these days could take their eyes off their reflections and telephone screens long enough to kick some ass then these guys might have some competition. Until then, head to camp and have some loud fun. - Uptown Magazine


"Easily some of the nicest packaging of anything I've gotten my hands on lately. But, of course, not even the prettiest dress can help the homely girls so it's lucky that Camp Radio - a trio of veterans of the Ottawa indie scene - have filled the album with sharp, tight and hooky guitar pop that would still be every bit as melodic and terrific if you dressed it up in a paper bag and scotch-taped banana peels and peanut shells to it. Muchos recommended." - Chromewaves.net


- Picked by Radio 3 and is available as a download on their 'Best of 2006' podcast - CBC Radio 3 Podcast


"the songs on this record are everything you should be looking for in music." - www.herohill.com


"it's mystifying why this full-length debut hasn't managed to spread the word well beyond..." - John Sakamoto - Toronto Star


Discography

1. Camp Radio - S/T (LP, 2008)

2. Camp Radio - Campista Socialista (LP, 2011)

3. Camp Radio - Turn Up The Radio (Flexi-disc, 2011)

4. Camp Radio - The Girl Who Stole My Motorbike (Flexi-disc, 2012)

Photos

Bio

Supergroup is defined by Wikipedia as "a rarely used term in mathematics". The online encyclopedia also points out the term can refer to "a music group formed by artists who
are already notable or respected in their fields".

If we do the math, Camp Radio certainly fits the bill.

Singer/guitarist Chris Page grew up in Glengarry, Ontario fronting the rural garage rock outfit The Stand GT. The young punks mounted seven national tours while releasing scads of 7-inches, LPs and CDs throughout the 90s.

Chris later moved to Ottawa, playing solo as The Glen Nevous Retraction, before getting cozy with his own name in 2003. Kelp Records proudly released "Decide to Stay and Swim" that year and before long, Page itched for bandmates again. Old pals Dave Draves and Scott Terry answered the call.

Camp Radio was formed in early 2005.

Since 1994, Draves has operated Ottawa's 2-inch tape haven Little Bullhorn Prods, producing masterful works by artists such as the Wooden Stars, Julie Doiron, Gentleman Reg, Kathleen Edwards and Howe Gelb.

Draves' name is synonymous with musicmaking in the Capital, and he is a pretty impressive bassist too. Taking cues from Jason Loewenstein's days in Sebadoh, Draves raw tone ignites all over Camp Radio records.

Camp Radio drummer tour de force Scott Terry is the busiest Ottawan in rock, splitting his time between the Fucking Machines, Flecton & the Dreamcatchers, the Banditas,
Andrew Vincent & the Pirates, and others we’re probably missing. Last we heard, he was starting up at least two others.

He is a tireless drummer, guitarist, and screecher, and brings a bundle of energy and beard hair to the Socialista!

Campista Socialista is the band's painfully long awaited follow up to 2006's brilliant album, simply titled 'Camp Radio'. Criminally under promoted, the few fans and critics who nabbed those initial copies, became instantly enthralled with the band's fresh take on their melodic, power pop craft. And they've all pined for more.

We're here to tell you Campista Socialista raises the bar.

Guitar driven power pop in spades (think melodic Husker Du and Dinosaur Jr) with an over abundance of rich vocal harmonies (think New Pornographers and REM), each song takes the listener in a different direction.

'Murder On My Skin', 'Turn Up The Radio' and 'The Girl Who Stole My Motorbike' are
melodic rock and roll gems, masterfully sculpted to power pop perfection. Numbers like 'I've Got You Up My Sleeves' and 'Cosmic Fair' take the listener on slow burning journeys while 'I have Designs' and 'Slack' make solid nods to the traditional rave up rock and roll templates.

Ultimately each track blares, blends and bleeds making this record a truly exciting album to hear!

Band Members