Recently, there has been something of a 90s revival in the world of alternative rock with Run for Cover Records being one of the many labels releasing music from such bands. Within the last year, bands such as Turnover and Citizen, as well as Run for Cover alumni Title Fight and Daylight, have released heavily 90s shoe-gaze influenced albums, calling to mind bands such as My Bloody Valentine and Lush. For the most part these records have failed to veer much from the established patterns and clichés of shoe-gaze music and they remain rather bland.
Camera Shy also appear to be lacking any actual innovation as this self-titled release remains cloaked in average 80s/90s influenced alt-rock. This isn’t a bad record, but it isn’t exactly a good one either. The jangling guitars are largely predictable and often overpower the generically fuzzed-out vocals. The majority of the time, the album trudges along almost in the background with uninteresting and forgettable songs that rarely have you reaching for the repeat button.
There are a few moments that glimmer and offer more original and inspiring song writing. The closing track Seemingly Ill is a gentle piano driven take on the shoegaze aesthetic, with vocalist Lexy Morte’s voice floating eerily over the backing. With the twinkly piano chords come horns which at the beginning of the track seem to echo American Football’s The Summer Ends. New Something is also one of the more engaging cuts from the record. The track has a fun almost poppy feel – perhaps a little reminiscent of Best Coast or Run for Cover label mates Westkust. Although not amazingly original, the track makes for a nice break from the otherwise slow fuzzy guitar music throughout the reminder of the album.
Camera Shy’s eponymous debut album is simply average. If you like shoegaze and dream pop, you will probably find a lot to like about this album. If you’re not a fan of either then begin your education of this genre by revisiting some of the 90s bands mentioned above.
‘Camera Shy’ is out now on Run For Cover Records.