Review: With Purge, France Camp Create an Outstanding LP of Fuzzy, Chaotic Garage Rock (Show Tonight!)
I enjoyed France Camp’s last self titled CS (2013, Forged Artifacts), but that solid release didn’t come close to preparing me for the raucous glory that is Purge, their latest LP out again on Forged Artifacts. Everything, from the fuzz to the melodies to the production, is ratcheted up multiple levels on this LP, and the result is one of the best local records I have heard so far this year.
The record rips out of the gates with the blistering “No Love,” which brings the kind of calculated fury that would make Thee Oh Sees proud. From there, they bounce into various corners of the fuzzy garage rock genre, whether the chugging, Cave-esqe riffs of “Mt. Infinite” or the throat schredding chaos of “Down Line,” it is a high-impact album that rarely, if ever, lets it foot off the gas. Even when they lighten the frenzy, on songs like the psyched-out jangle of “Marisha” and the relatively subdued fuzz pop of “Midnight,” there is a snarl and confidence that has grown exponentially since their last release. The record may peak with “My Warpaint,” a doctrine (in the good way) garage jam that morphs into a an absolute stomper about halfway through when it cuts the drum beat and ramps up the pain howl, creating a whirling cacophony that feels like it is teetering on the edge of a black hole.
This is an album that knocked me out the first spin, and has done nothing to subdue the excitement on the dozens of subsequent listens. It has a knowing nod to the greats who have scuffed up garage punk jams before, but doesn’t feel tired or by-the-numbers in the least. It struts just the right amount, and has a Blind Shake level of ear-splitting terror. It is refreshing and powerful, and one hell of a rock and roll LP. Stream a few tracks from the LP below and buy the record from the great folks at Forged Artifacts.
For only six clams, you can see this LP brought to live tonight (Fri, 5/15) at First Ave with support from Stereo Confession, Nancy’s Raygun, Daisy Chains and DJ Tickle Torture.