Camión is a shoegaze/post-punk/new wave quintet from La Plata, Argentina. I know nothing about them, but this compilation was released today by our friends over at The Blog That Celebrates Itself. You’ll remember that I’ve written about their compilations many times before. These tribute compilations are always pretty unique, and some of the covers on this one are very inventive, even if tonight’s song is a pretty straight cover.
This band put out a record in 2011 and another last year. They normally sing in Spanish, and it’s almost always Laureana Buki Cardelino doing the singing. On this one, there’s some coed harmonies, and a significant amount of singing from one of the guys. I’m not sure which one, but he really does a good job with doing the Ian McColloch dark and moody bit. It’s really weird that on this cover, Cardelino sings the same way that the girls from Shonen Knife sing when they have to sing in English. I don’t know how well Cardelino speaks English, but I know that the girls from Shonen Knife speak very limited English, and their English singing sounds like the lyrics are being recited. Sometimes it’s brutal. That said, I love Shonen Knife’s cover of The Carpenters’ “Top of The World”.
That one bit of nitpicking aside, I really like what Camión is doing here.
“Lips Like Sugar” as covered by Camión
Some of these TBTCI compilation tributes focus on a single album. This is one that focuses on the band’s entire oeuvre. Actually, all but one song come from the first five Bunnymen albums. Crocodiles (1980), Heaven Up Here (1981), Porcupine (1983), Ocean Rain (1984), and Echo & The Bunnymen (1987) are, by most accounts, the only Bunnymen records that matter. I love the first, second, third, and fifth of those. They’ve released seven albums since then, but none of them impressed me very much. After that fifth album, their drummer Pete de Freitas was killed in a motorcycle accident at the age of 27. The band was never the same after that. For a while, there was some internal turmoil, and for a few years, frontman Ian McCulloch wasn’t even in the band. After the disastrous Reverberation album in 1990, on which some Irish kid took over lead, the Bunnymen disbanded between 1993 and 1997. Even after the three surviving Bunnymen got back together, their albums have been average at best. No chart performance at all in the US, and only moderate success in the UK.
During those golden years, though, the Bunnymen were amazing. I’m a little disappointed that this TBTCI tribute didn’t include a cover of “All That Jazz” or “Crocodiles”, which are two of my favorites. There are THREE different covers of “Ocean Rain”, the title track from my least favorite of the five “real” Bunnymen records. I’ve tried and I’ve tried, but I just don’t love that album. “The Killing Moon” is a near-perfect song, but nothing else on that album appeals to me.
Check out the compilation, and download it by naming your price here.