By Ted Richards
Punk has always been a relatively large-tented genre. The intention of the music as much as the content informs a punk classification. Rancid is punk, but, somehow, so is Pinegrove. Electronic music has introduced a similar difficult hiccup in these genre classifications as that posed by Pinegrove. Today, artists like Eichlers also get well deserved attention as punk, even though his music is like ska and emo had a baby with hyper pop (he calls himself “hyper ska”). Granting this pedantic preamble on contemporary punk, meet Kambree.
Kambree is an indie rock/pop punk outfit from Provo, UT which has transitioned its sound into something more modern and unique within that broad genre. They create an aesthetic electronic experience. Each element on any given song tends generally to serve as a part of the larger tapestry woven of lilting girly vocals, synths, 808’s, fuzzy bass, chirpy guitar, and whatever other beep-boops Kambree decide to include. The sensation you’ll get from listening to Kambree is akin to sucking on a Ring Pop (shoutout to the opening track “Ring Pop”) while riding a bike through a hazy, synthesized, sunset dreamscape. Although the purple and orange hue of the world never fades, occasionally you will find yourself on a downhill course, weaving through a 1990’s video game-inspired slalom course of rapidly approaching obstacles. Their album Baby Days offers this distinct experience to all listeners with ears to hear.
As with any band in a pop-infused genre, and Kambree unquestionably has lovely pop sensibilities, this album occasionally falls into the trap of becoming repetitive. That’s not always a bad thing. On “Ring Pop,” for example, the repetition of the quirky sounds and lyrics never loses its charm. Whereas, on “Don’t Go,” the lyrics are not enchanting enough on their own to bear the burden of such frequent repetition. Repetition is good for the kind of music Kambree makes, but not if it grows bothersome. All that being said, the overall feel of the song, which you must always take into account with Kambree, can be favorably compared to Jeff Rosenstock and Chris Farren’s passion project Antarctigo Vespucci. Particularly consider some of the cool synth infused tracks on “Love in the Time of Email.”
As noted above, the aesthetic cultivated in this album is its best quality. Certain moments stand out, like the brief foray into a more explicit pop punk feel on “For Real (Lil Bop).” But the album’s biggest strength is its consistent devotion to the ~vibe~. The production shines in bright colors throughout, every song bounces along with like energy, and the peaks and valleys are usually predictable (in a good way). The album does pretty much exactly what you would want it to.
If you like punk, or electronic music, or indie, or alternative music of really any kind, Kambree tries to worm their way into your heart with this one. I think they are pretty successful. Keep an eye on Kambree (now based out of Seattle). They have plans to release new music and tour in the coming year.
Make sure to like Kambree on Facebook and check out their song “Oh Baby” below!