Album Review: Camp Cope – S/T

This album presents an emotionally driven Folk Punk sound which delivers personal narratives through edgy, but often melodic songwriting. While there are certainly comparisons that can be made between Camp Cope and their spiritual brother band The Smith Street Band, frontwoman Georgia Maq’s expressive and elastic vocal performance melting over the unrelenting guitars is far closer to Philadelphia’s Hop Along than any Australian band. Camp Cope’s lyrical songwriting helps to justify this comparison as Georgia masterfully blends elements of storytelling and metaphor with personal and emotionally resonant lyrics. The track “Flesh and Electricity” emblemises depression and lethargy eerily well, especially on the hook “I’ve been desensitized to the human body, that I could look at you naked and all I’d see would be anatomy”. Then there’s the track “West Side Story” which is an emotional epic detailing a dysfunctional but unshakeable relationship best summed up in the heartbreaking final lines, “don’t wanna see you for a couple years, but yours is a funeral I’d fly to from anywhere”. Georgia’s astounding lyrical prowess is matched by her versatile and confident vocal presence which is not only suited to the slower acoustic tracks like the closer but also the heavier Punk tinged tracks like “Lost (Season One)”. Instrumentally, Camp Cope is much more restrained. Mainly sticking to the simple guitar driven fundamentals that have worked for many bands before them, it provides an ample backdrop for Georgia’s show-stealing lyricism but it would have been nice to have seen the instrumentation have its bolder moments as well. Still, the fairly rough production quality gives Camp Cope the raw edge they need to make their irrefutably human stories hit home perfectly. The debut self-titled effort from Camp Cope shows off the kind of songwriting expertise and personal expression that comes around very rarely and should be treasured. The band’s proficiency can only go up from here, and as they develop as both a collective and individuals, we can all look forward to hearing more of Georgia Maq’s life story.

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