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Spacecamp

Alibi EP

(Modern Records; US: 22 Nov 2011; UK: 22 Nov 2011)

Lift Off

You might be wondering what this Brooklyn four piece was thinking in naming the band Spacecamp, which might bring to mind a certain 1986 film about a group of kids accidentally launched into outer space that bombed at the box office because it was, unfortunately, released just months after the Challenger space shuttle explosion. Can you say “huge marketing disaster”? Yes, you probably can. Still, I suppose there are worse names out there, and Spacecamp’s moniker is actually fairly apt as they make a streamlined and airy brand of New Wave retro pop with modern-day indie rock flourishes, evidenced by the recent Alibi EP, which is a teaser to a debut full-length album expected by Fall 2012. Imagine if the reggae-infused sounds of the Police ganged up with the post punk of early Joe Jackson to pummel the crap out of a bevy of ‘80s synth pop/arena rock bands, and that would give you a damn good indication of Spacecamp’s sound. The band certainly knows its way around knock-out hooks in its boisterous choruses, which, admittedly, makes the verses seem a little stale in comparison. However, aside from “Miko D.T.B.”, which sounds a little like a skipping rope chant lyrically, the material is pretty strong and worthy of repeated listening – particularly the driving “Teen Idol”. What’s more, the extended play is varnished and extremely well produced for an indie affair, and could be played against any major label rock album from 30 years ago and go mano-a-mano with it sound-wise. The Alibi EP gradually takes flight and achieves lift off, and is pleasing and affecting in its backwards glances to the type of music hardly anyone makes anymore.

Rating:

Zachary Houle is a writer living in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He has been a Pushcart Prize nominee for his short fiction, and the recipient of a writing arts grant from the City of Ottawa. He has had journalism published in SPIN magazine, The National Post (Canada), Canadian Business, and more. He also reviews books for bookwookie.ca.


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