The Band CAMINO’s debut is scrambled coming-of-age indie rock

Photo of a The Band CAMINO album cover
Elektra Records/Courtesy

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Grade: 3.0/5.0

All eyes are on indie rock band The Band CAMINO, or TBC, for their newest release. After experiencing considerable success with their 2019 EP tryhard with standouts “Daphne Blue” and “See Through,” their fan base grew indicatively. After releasing and teasing their latest work over the past year, the band has finally come together for their debut album. Released Sept. 10, the self-titled album’s coming-of-age experiences are packaged up in experimental rock synths and soar with scrambled energy.

Prior to its release, the group released a series of singles from the album, including highlights “Roses” and “Know it All.” In commanding force, “Roses” succeeds as most memorable across the entire album. The track’s chorus is singable and addicting, as it enters its high and low dynamics seamlessly and supports the sonic direction. The song preaches the importance of slowing down when the world gets a little too much, a theme that everyone can surely get behind.

The opening, non-single track off The Band CAMINO, “EVERYBODYDIES,” is precisely what the title suggests. Yet, at first listen, you won’t be able to detect any indications of dark symbols. Instead, sinister lyrics are muffled by happy-go-lucky, upbeat melodies. This musical and lyrical juxtaposition succeeds in making you forget about the track’s name and dance along to the fact that everybody dies. But, it falls short, excavating nothing new out of a worn-out cliche. 

Another stand-alone single for its singer-songwriter qualities is “Sorry Mom.” The organic guitar melody matches the sweet tenderness that the song boasts. While a hard topic to vocalize, TBC is able to authentically deliver a message to their loved ones that most are hesitant to confront. Band member Jeffrey Jordan admitted to his second thoughts on releasing a song so personal and wondering how his own mother would receive it. The vulnerable track reminds us that these feelings of unintentionally hurting those closest to us are something worth saying sorry for.

“Who Do You Think You Are?” and “1 Last Cigarette” echo mature sentiments, the former carrying a message about growing up and the inevitability of change. The band confesses, “I miss the innocent kid from Memphis that you used to be/ ‘Cause I knew who you were back at the start.” It’s a callout for people who grow apart from their younger selves — the overall message is childish, as it targets individuals just for changing.

Where “Who Do You Think You Are?” demands its question, “1 Last Cigarette” and its lyrics verbalize a different maturing phase: drinking culture. As innocence fades, temptations from alcohol and substance use permeate. Because of this, the track strikes a relevant chord. But, Jordan revealed on an Instagram post that while the song may be interpreted as social commentary, it’s as simple as him “getting drunk and losing his keys.”

Love undoubtedly acts as a recurring motif. “Song About You,” “I Think I Like You” and “Help Me Get Over You” all share opposing feelings about romance and how unsteady it can be. Because of how many perspectives are being shared about relationships, it plays into the album’s theme of experiencing things in a new light. These three tracks are the band’s take on the whole ordeal in its purest, most honest form.

From there, the album seems to take a completely different turn following “1 Last Cigarette.” From then onward, The Band CAMINO seems to enter a stripped-down side, making the album feel loosely mismatched. It’s refreshing to see TBC take a break from the 2000’s rock elements, but it culminates in inconsistency.

Overall, the decisions that TBC makes on the album aren’t outstanding, or poor, resulting in a listening experience that is mildly pleasant but also unremarkable. The tracks are lively, but not enough to make you go back and listen again. But, this is far from an accurate indication of their potential. While The Band CAMINO may have talked a mouthful on what it’s like to get older, it still has a lot of their own growing up to do.

Contact Ashley Tsai at [email protected].