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2020-04-19

CAMEL DRIVER - \ /

After my review of Moewn's swan song album it seems appropriate to discuss another Northern German Pink Tank Records instrumental band with an animal connection now!

Of course there are not that many to choose from with those criteria, so I'm talking about Camel Driver, who not only shared one of my favorite split records with the aforementioned back in 2016, but who have actually just put out a new record.

Interestingly, when you take a look at the artworks - just like on the split -, the two bands still seem like different sides of one coin. On the cover of the disbanded Moewn's album a flock of magic seagulls is ascending into space, while the hallucinogenic Camel now floats deep inside some far away nebula waiting to be picked up by the Guardians of the Galaxy, showing us its uncensored camel toe in a Vulcan greeting.




CAMEL DRIVER - \ / (white opaque vinyl) (2020)


Said camel toe is also somehow the album title. Yet since its transcription into "\ /" is a complete nightmare for everyone who tries to name the Windows folder of his digital copy*, I'm probably not the only one referring to it just as "II" (two).

So much for that. But since I've now already talked about the cover (a once again awesome artwork by Samson Goetze by the way) and title, let's take a look at the thing right away:
It comes on white vinyl, which I love, because uhm... I just love white vinyl (also available on black), and it's accompanied by a neat little poster of the back cover.




Musically Camel Driver are staying true to their cultivated sound, which is an extremely fluid, but mostly bone dry sounding mixture of fuzzy and psychedelic power trio stoner rock and prog metal as well as post rock, all with a penchant for melodic Arabisms as defining trademark.
On top of that the super busy bass in particular exudes a healthy dose of funk.

As the chops of the trio didn't stop growing since the last release, the arrangements can sometimes be quite technical, but it never leads to showboating as self purpose. Whenever there is swagger, it's always forgivable, since it's perfectly embedded it into the mood of the song.

Camel Driver live 2019
It doesn't really matter whether Camel Driver speak the language of the heavy riff (and boy, especially towards the end they have some pretty powerful surprises in store) or the delicate lead guitar - they never sacrifice the atmosphere as central essence of the piece.
The styles they are incorporating all just seem like colour choices in order to paint the bigger picture, which makes it a pretty useless to put them into a specific genre box. I guess it's just damn good instrumental rock music. And definitely a highlight of this year so far among various of the mentioned genres if you will.

In conclusion it's no overstatement to say that the band has done everything right. The Camel may be older and wiser now, but its humps are standing tighter and more sexy than ever!



*Important notice for the vinyl snob crowd: Don't miss the download only bonus track "Inferno"!






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