Friday, August 3, 2007

CAMPER VAN CHADBOURNE "s/t" (Fundamental)



It is no secret that I’m a huge Camper Van Beethoven fan, hell I even like a lot of David Lowery’s post CVB band Cracker’s music. On this strange tape, however, redneck avant-gardist Eugene Chadbourne does lead vocal duties, but present still are the honky tonk ska vibes that made Camper van Beethoven amazing. Jonathan Segal’s violin is front and center, as is Chadbourne’s weirdo banjo picking. The album has some North Carolina inside jokes like “Fayettenam” designed to make the boys back in Greensboro laugh. There are some pretty good half-assed David Lowery vocal parts, though he seems a little awkward paired with Chabourne. Really what makes this release work is Chadbourne’s deranged redneck on psychedelics outlook. His playing is utterly bizarre, foregoing normal rhythmic conventions. It all makes for a fun record, though the production has a strange subdued quality reminiscent of CVB’s Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart. It takes some getting used to.