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Camarosmith Self-Titled

By Frank Meyer, Contributing Editor
Monday, October 13, 2003 @ 11:22 PM


(Dead Teenage Records)

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Heavy, bludgeoning, raw and rockin’ is how one might describe the self-titled debut by Seattle’s Camarosmith. Starring Jeff Matz and Donny Paycheck from Zeke, Camarosmith is a band that started as a side-project, a hard rock retreat for the guys to escape the speed metal-punk fury of Zeke, but has blossomed into a full-time lean, mean metal machine.

Camaerosmith’s self-titled debut was produced by legendary grunge knob-twirler Jack Endino and certainly has shades of the Seattle sound, yet is much closer in sonic thrills to bands like Fu Manchu, Speedealer or Nebula. I wouldn’t call songs like “It’s Alright,” “S.O.S.,” and “Corrupt” stoner rock, so much as odes to ‘70s metal gods like Black Sabbath, Montrose and Judas Priest carried on in the most faithful tradition. While they don’t stray much from the familiar formula of this genre, they embrace it so wholeheartedly that it’s hard not to be enticed.

When the band gets bluesy on “714” you can hear the Robin Trower influence as strongly as the Budgie leanings. And when guitarists Chris Johnson and Pat Brown noodle on “Flight of the Red Wing,” you can just feel them giggling as they reminisce down Maiden lane. Yet it’s vocalist Ben Rew who really steals the show here, unleashing as ass-whomping, bluesy snarl over every tracks and flexing quite a dynamic vocal range (which is virtually unheard of this genre). The man is a powerhouse, the kind of singer all rock bands should have.

Sure, fans of Zeke will dig this, but me say lots of others will too. So go buy.

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