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The best kept secret in music


"Jack Rabid's Top 10"

Jack Rapid's Top 10

5. (In)Camera – (In)Camera EP (self-released)
I bought this while I was in Shake-It Records in Cincinnati (easily one of the best record stores I have been in in a long, long while) and heard this local band’s EP—which is only sold in that store, for some reason, which is really a pity—playing on the store’s speakers. But that’s OK, you can hear all four songs on this EP anyway at myspace.com/incamera1 and you should if you like the following bands: HALF STRING especially, COCTEAU TWINS, early MARCH VIOLETS, STEREOLAB and DROP 19s. Yes that’s right, they’re a great shoegaze throwback proving the genre is far from exhausted, with cracklin’ female vocals; in fact, this sounds totally 2007, not 1990, especially with the slight electro-pop influence added on (sort of like CURVE). The song that really does it for me is “Will to Power,” so start with that one first. And then contact this band and tell them how good they are and ask them to play New York sometime!!! - The Big Takeover

"Camera Allura"

Camera Allura

By Mike Breen

Saturday at The Comet in Northside, local Indie/Electronic group (in)camera hosts a release party for their first recorded effort, a four-song, self-titled EP. Toledo's Stylex also performs.
On the EP (a "teaser" for the band's forthcoming full-length), the band showcases its groovy balance of hypermelodic Pop and tweaky, electro-fused, almost cinematic soundscapery. Bassist Jay McCubbin (also of The Wolverton Brothers) and ex-Roundhead drummer Bill Bullock provide the creative, air-tight pulse, while guitarist Robert Paquette decorates the tracks with ringing, expressive guitar work, which wraps itself around the band's imaginative, multifarious textures. Singer/keyboardists Shelagh Larkin and Susan Smith are (in)camera's focal point, as they layer waves of spacey sonics on top of each other, giving the group its distinct, adventurous "SynthPop" edge. Larkin and Smith's vocals are also vital, as they brilliantly bounce sublime melodies and countermelodies off of each other and harmonize like they've been singing together since birth. The synths and effects add a pleasurable '80s vibe (think the more progressive and artful of the '80s Post Punk bunch, not the Top 40 New Wave of the era), though the guitars give the EP a more modern context and you can hear echoes of everything from Stereolab to Lush to My Bloody Valentine in the mix. If the characterization "ElectroPop" leaves you with images of frigid, robotic drivel, let (in)camera show you there can be a more kaleidoscopic depth to it than you'd ever imagined. (incamerasound.com) - CityBeat

"(in)focus and to the point"

(In)Focus and to the Point

MidPoint 05 has it all: 300 bands, including Cincinnati's (in)camera, interesting workshops and speakers and the best buzz around

Interview By Hannah Roberts

Photo By James McKenna

The beat boys begin to tell their own version of the crime with slow and mounting thuds. Bill's word is gospel without temporal restraint; Jay's answer resonates, gruff and reminiscent of kitchen duty role call.

Huddling together in a strangely comfortable mingling of trust and conspiracy, they recant their own memories, all different but each as clear as yesterday.

There's a ruckus like a trashcan fire building from near the south wall. It's just Susan and Robert. They're at it again -- 12 fingers, six apiece twisted up in a climbing game of Mercy, twin protesters sounding off for different causes. "I can't/I won't/I can't/I won't," Susan moans.

All the while Shelagh finger-paints those vital blueprints in black and white, a coded message becomes matter-of-fact: You wouldn't know because you weren't there, but here goes the story.

Is there something cliché about appropriating human characteristics to inanimate instruments? Well, maybe, but that would depend on who's playing them.

Where individual experience counts, watching an outfit of veterans like Cincinnati's (in)camera is no less than watching wood, metal and plastic spring to life. And rightly so. With a combined history that spans more than two decades, more than 10 bands and international boundaries, live performance is second nature as shoe-tying. And professionalism? Well, that's like breathing.

At some awkward point, all of the words I've prepared for this interview sound juvenile and the ones I'm imagining off the cuff are outrageous: "It's cool how you guys sound like The Cure if they had chick singers." Or "How did you do that thing just now where you used the guitar like it was a keyboard?"

OK, change of plans. Stick to the basics and try not to humiliate myself. As I open my mouth to speak, though, something remarkable happens -- I don't have to say a word.

"It's spelled S-H-E-L-A-G-H, but it sounds like 'Sheila,' " keyboardist Shelagh Larkin offers. "And I'm married with two kids."

And just as comfortable and simple as a Sunday morning cup of coffee, I'm learning the details of a group whose lineage might be coined "Midwest Herculean," spawning from local bands like Roundhead, The Wolverton Brothers, Subrosa, Montclaire and Blanco Nombre.

Call it stigma, an assumption that a musician's level of accomplishment slithers in direct correlation alongside his or her cockiness and condescension. But in talking to the members of (in)camera, I'm instantly stricken by their maturity. They have an honest, supportive approach to songwriting and love nothing more than to see other bands do well. (So much so, in fact, that at times I feel my questions are leading them toward mild slander in a subconscious effort to prove that nobody can be that nice, right? Wrong.)

Later, their infectious excitement for music will begin to spill over into unfinished sentences and good-natured interruptions, but for now, Jay McCubbin (home renovator by day, bassist by night) wants to make it perfectly clear that (in)camera is, in every sense, a group effort.

"We all come from such drastically different musical backgrounds that this project was an opportunity for us to explore things outside our comfort zone," McCubbin says. "We need each perspective in order to do that."

Photo By James McKenna
Members of (in)camera, clockwise from bottom: Robert Paquette, Jay McCubbin, Susan Smith and Bill Bullock; seated: Shelagh Larkin.
Drummer Bill Bullock jokes that that's why it takes "forever" to write a whole song, and guitarist Susan Smith agrees.

"We're certainly not trying to crank out two-minute Pop songs," she says. "We're constantly looking for different structures and sounds that are more interesting than your norm."

Despite this democratic approach to songwriting and band organization, it's common knowledge that every group has a boss, a foreman. The unique thing about (in)camera is that each member seems to have his/her own autonomous clout, and it in no way hinders their openness to other ideas. In fact, testing different waters is the group's principle mainstay.

To avoid being pigeonholed, it's necessary to layer their sound with as many variations as possible. This vision comes through in tunes like "Juniper," with an unfaltering chord progression that doesn't even think about taking the slightest hairpin turn until it's met with just the right amount of synth. While Stereolab's heavy use of Electronica comes through prominently in the sound, each band member's forte -- from Susan's Punk to Bill's Indie Rock -- is evident in the sampling.

The overall effect is music that manages to transmit a sense of deep history while marching steadfastly into the future.

And that future, for - CityBeat


EP- (in)camera


Feeling a bit camera shy


Combining an inclination for melodic electro-pop with
an art rock aesthetic borrowed from bands such as
Stereolab and Sonic Youth, (in)camera debuts with
their brand of lo-fi experimentalism giving birth to a
lushly layered framework. The Cincinnati-based group, led by bassist, Jay McCubbin of The Wolverton
Brothers, sits on the fringe of rock -- McCubbin's
alternative bass melodies set the tone, while drenched with droning washes of rich notey feedback by guitarist Robert Paquette, warm swells of a vintage
Rheim organ from keyboardist Shelagh Larkin,
electronic inflections of a Nord analog synth by
keyboardist, Susan Smith, accented by various eclectic samples all held together by the versatile and
impenetrable percussion of veteran drummer, Bill
Bullock of Roundhead. This instrumentation is topped
off by the infectious alternative harmonies of Larkin
and Smith as well as the arty unexpected songwriting
authorship by the two female artists. The sound is a
hybid of eclectic pop that ranges from moody sketches to postwave rock.