VELMA AND THE HAPPY CAMPERS “Permatemp” (Floating Skull)

“A singsongy thingy started by a bored guy in Florida,” A. J. Herring’s Velma and the Happy Campers morphed into a lo-fi indie-rock spectacular. Or maybe that’s what it always was, a project stuck in a basement with a four-track, a bunch of GBV and early Built to Spill records, and tongue jammed firmly in a cheek. Because, you know, “Permatemp” is an oxymoron. Wasn’t sure if you noticed. You can’t get away with a thing like that without a sense of humor.

If you’re in the market for some throwback-to-the-1990s scene-and-zine heartfelt indie, then Herring’s your man, and Velma and the Happy Campers is your tape. A generous thirteen tunes covering everything from “Koala Sex” to “T-Rex Arms,” “Permatemp” will remind you of the days in high school, laying on your bed and wondering what it was really like out there, then grabbing whatever instruments were nearby and writing songs about the things that popped into your head. That’s what I did anyway. Maybe I’m a throwback? Maybe A. J. Herring is a throwback? Let’s hope not – let’s hope that there are some earnest and eager kids out there ready to do the same thing. No more of this metallic sheen over everything. Get twee!