A horrible hack

Brandtson - Camber - Seven Storey Mountain

Three-way split

Year Released: 2003
Format: CD
Label: Deep Elm
Reviewed by Tom Sloan on Jun 13, 2007
3 of the original Deep Elm stalwarts team up for a six-song split, and it’s a bit of a mixed bag, albeit one college-rock types may just lap up.

Brandtson never really did it for me. My first experience with them was on the second ‘emo diaries’ comp, and I was extremely uninspired by their sub-Sunny Day drabness. However, since then they’ve realised they work better as a pop-band, and I can’t say I disagree. ‘Dead Animals’ – the only song they contribute - is thoroughly enjoyable summer ditty worthy of mention alongside the likes of Jimmy Eat World, yada yada yada. Yeah, pop-punk still does it for me and I don’t give a shit what anyone thinks (so long as it isn’t sold-off as emo – see press release…”(Brandston are)…pushing pop influences to the forefront without compromising their tight post-hardcore sound” ). Brandston are not ‘post-hardcore’ but they can certainly pen a tune and pull it off with plenty of style with those perfect harmonies of theirs.

Similarly, Camber have appeared uninteresting in previous compilation outings to me, but whadyaknow they haven’t half grown on me. At first the singers’ sporadic deviance from quiet-and-delicate to rough-and-edgy vocals can be a little off putting, but it all becomes part of the appeal after a while, and actually feels like it ‘works’ here. They give us 3 songs, an average rock song, a good catchy indie-rock song and a subtle little acoustic song that indeed floats my boat nicely.

Now, I was expecting the most from Seven Storey Mountain, based on the fact their first Deep Elm e.p. under the ‘Seven Storey’ moniker was an awesome slice of Husker Du / Foo Fighters inspired pure load-and-gutsy rock music. Some of the best ‘driving’ (as in, ‘in my car’) music indie-rock had to offer. Unfortunately they are not quite so instantly appealing here…in my opinion they’re one of those bands that just sounds awesome playing at 100 miles an hour with near-shouted vocals, and just average the rest of the time. The first of their two contributions just kinda plod along without getting all that loud, although the next one is better, with a catchier riff and those determined vocals more at the forefront.

If 2 from 3 of these bands are some of your Deep Elm favourites (Deep Elm listeners read Collective, right??) then you’ll probably be more than satisfied with this split. I’m sorry this review is so ineloquently written, but yeah, the cd’s alright.

Share this:

Related Reviews

Brandtson - Death & Taxes
Death & Taxes
Deep Elm, 2003

Brandtson - Death & Taxes : cdep

Brandtson - Trying To Figure Each Other Out
Trying To Figure Each Other Out
Deep Elm, 2000

Brandtson - Trying To Figure Each Other Out : cdep

Seven Storey Mountain - Based On A True Story
Seven Storey Mountain
Based On A True Story
Deep Elm, 2000

Seven Storey Mountain - Based On A True Story : cd

Camber - Anyway, I've Been There
Anyway, I've Been There
Deep Elm, 1999

Camber - Anyway, I've Been There : cd

Camber - Beautiful Charade
Beautiful Charade
Deep Elm, 1998

Camber - Beautiful Charade : cd