Camp Howard are one of the East Coast best-kept secrets, previously known only to fortunate concert-goers. With the imminent release of their self-titled debut full-length, the Richmond quartet are poised to make a splash. Playing together in various groups since high school, bandmates Nic Perea, Wes Parker, Brian Larson, Matthew Benson have undeniable chemistry, their rhythmic synchronization second only to their sense of melodic individuality.
The Howard gang draw extensively on the sounds and progressions of psych revivalists Tame Impala, the playfulness of Alt-J, and the punchy guitar of early-period Local Natives. With “Holding Her Tight,” the band starts off out on the run behind fuzzed-out guitar leads and some delightfully dynamic drumming before transitioning into, “You’ve Been Misled,” a lighter moment reminiscent of a more genteel Mac DeMarco. “Veins,” the album’s lead single finds Perea crooning over a light tom groove before the band veers off into an somber, Floydian bridge.
This is just one of many jam-friendly moments on the record; indeed, the second half of it sees the band hitting their stride, experimenting with lighter guitar tones and more intricate melodies. Most graceful of these are the uptempo “Llorando Y Fumando” and “Anybody,” whose sun-soaked, harmonious constitution will delight fans of Real Estate and Kurt Vile alike.