Cameras - In Your Room
Try and research this album and your initial web search will turn into something just as eery as the album itself. Cameras are far from the band you'd expect them to be. With a name that (maybe just to me) carries preconceived ideas of a twee indie group with an interest in photography couldn't in fact be more presumptuous. The Ozzie trio have totally ripped apart my ideal of the beloved shared boy/girl vocals, and strangely I don't mind one bit.
In Your Room itself is exactly the same. Just as you assume you know everything that Cameras have in mind with this album, opening track 'Polarise' is dropping you into a jazz-Radiohead-esque abyss – now that's something I wasn't expecting, especially from a debut album. It's Katie Melua in a whirling and haunting confusion; words that just aren't allowed to make sense yet ring true as Eleanor Dunlop's ethereal tones echo into an atmospheric muddle.
Album highlight 'Kreuzberg' races with urgent guitars and an early-Horrors-style garage rock franticness, sitting below the tuneful and breezily lyricised chorus. In Your Room seems as much about bitter exploration as it does providing brilliantly written melodies. Maybe the most admirable thing about the Sydney-three (Eleanor Dunlop, Fraser Harvey and Ben Mason) is that they prove that this whole boy/girl dream pop ideal isn't the only way to make it work. Tracks like 'Patience, it was the truth' are cleverly written, and surprisingly effective inspiration from bands such as Interpol and iLikeTrains, whilst obvious single 'June's grunge-ballad female vocals cry in a evocative Courtney Love way.
It's difficult to criticise In Your Room. It's a debut filled with haunt and exploration, with a cleverly balanced mix of genres and vocals, yet the lyrics fall short of producing the great song that could have been. There may be parts of In Your Room that let Cameras down, but their clever genre-mash is, in a way, what we've been lacking from bands recently. Cameras may not have entirely hit the mark first time round, but its not to say they shouldn't keep your interest.