It’s another insane week full of shows and work for me but I told myself I just have to get in the swing of reviewing albums again. Although I was hesitant to even start doing album reviews, it has become one of the things that really helps keep me sane throughout crazy weeks and, after a few minor mental breakdowns last week and one epic on that ended up with my sleeping on the floor of my closet (don’t worry, I’m good, I swear– just overworked and under-slept but I know I do it to myself), I realized that I really need to make it a point to do at least one review a day. Even if it’s just an EP, it’s something, and clearly, something I need for my mental health and sanity so let’s jump into Camel on Fire’s new EP, ‘Imaginary’.
The title track of this EP gets things started off right. Although it fades in, this opening track hits and it hits hard when it comes to full power within the first few seconds. The power in this first track is not like the normal power that I tend to talk about. There’s no slamming drums or grinding guitars but the amount of power that comes through with the overall blend of instrumentation and vocals just has this commanding presence and sound about it that is absolutely beautiful. There’s almost a little 90’s hard-rock vibe to this track that, although not my favorite style in the world, has this almost fresh vibe to it as it’s something I haven’t really heard much of recently.
“Long Gone Days” continues with that nostalgic 90s sound laid out in the first track but brings a bit more of a grunge aspect to the vocals. Although not a huge fan of this vocal styling as, at times, it sounds a bit forced to me, I still love the power that comes through with every note and every word. “Unspoken” seems to expand on the themes laid out in “Long Gone Days” but has more of a ballad-like structure and vibe to it. Again, there were times when I felt like the vocals sounded a bit forced and even a bit flat at times but the amount of passion and heart that comes through with every word makes up for that. You can feel the energy of this band in a surreal way while listening to this track.
Out of all of the songs thus far on this EP, “Careless” is definitely my favorite. From the driving beat to the familiar yet unique vocals, something about this track just really stood out to me. There’s almost a bit of a Rise Against vibe with this track but it’s just a bit more of that 90s vibe that Camel on Fire does so well. I want to make sure you understand that although I keep referencing this slight 90s feeling throughout this EP, none of these tracks sound dated. It’s as if Camel on Fire had taken some cues and elements from the amazing grunge bands of the 90s and molded it with current-day hard rock elements and other pieces that can only be described as Camel on Fire.
This five-song EP ends with “Keep Quiet” which does anything but keep things quiet. Another powerful and anthemic track that seems almost ready for a stadium tour, there’s a sound that comes off as a bit bigger than the previous songs on this album. What do I mean by that? Well, I really don’t know how else to describe it. I guess you’ll just have to take a listen to truly understand what I mean by a “bigger sound”. Regardless, this track is the perfect way to end this release.
Although there were some elements throughout this EP that felt a bit rough to me and, stylistically, it’s just a bit more hard rock where I prefer a bit more of a metal or punk edge, I thoroughly did enjoy hearing something completely different from what I tend to listen to.
My Favorite Track(s): “Careless”
For Fans Of: 90’s Vibes; Power
Mosh-ability: 5 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It: Artie slept on the back of the couch; Autumn slept upstairs
How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 7 out of 10
My Overall Rating: 7 out of 10
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