Review: The Band CAMINO proves they are here to stay with debut full-length album

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Photo by Randi Haseman

The Band CAMINO debuted on Sept. 10.

The alternative genre is one that might receive more mainstream attention now in days with bands like Bleachers and Panic at the Disco!. But with the release of their first full length studio album, self-titled “The Band CAMINO,” the band has made a name for themselves in the alternative world and in the pop-rock genre as well.  

Formed in 2015, the Memphis, Tennessee grown band has released three EPs over the past six years. Their most popular release, 2019’s “tryhard,” made them more of a household name with indie rock favorites “Daphne Blue,” “See Through” and “Honest.”

After parting ways with bassist Graham Rowell in April 2020 due to allegations of sexual misconduct, the band took a minute to regroup and rework their sound as a trio.

In July 202o, they returned with a collaboration featuring Chelsea Cutler entitled “Crying Over You.” This gave The Band CAMINO the momentum to get where they are now: the release of their first full-length studio album.

Personally, I have been anxiously awaiting the release of this album since I discovered The Band CAMINO in 2019. I have always enjoyed that their music is an eclectic mix of pop and rock, a sound that I didn’t know my music library needed until it came along.

Before the release of the album Sept. 10, the band teased fans with six singles off the record. “Roses,” dropped in December 2020, followed by the electric “1 Last Cigarette” and a heartfelt Mother’s Day release “Sorry Mom.” The announcement of the band’s self-titled debut came in June 2021 with the release of “Know it All,” a tune that sounds reminiscent of “tryhard,” but excited fans for what was to come.

The last two single releases, “I Think I Like You” and “Who Do You Think You Are?” came out just days before the release of the album, creating more anticipation for the unheard songs off the album.

“The Band CAMINO” features 14 songs, giving fans and new listeners about 45 minutes of listening time, and frankly, it’s not enough. The lead-off track “EVERYBODYDIES,” while melancholy at first glance, pulls you into the vibe of the record. The lyrics, though a bit pessimistic are coupled with a more upbeat pop-rock musical ensemble, giving the song a more carefree, honest message and lyric “it happens how it happens, everybody dies anyway.”

The album carries a synthesized, almost distorted theme musically. Guitarists Jeffrey Jordan and Spencer Stewart share lead vocals on the album, with Stewart taking on tracks “Underneath My Skin” and “Damage.” Jordan takes control of the more sentimental additions to the record “Help Me Get Over You” and “Sorry Mom,” the latter a song dedicated to his mother as he sings, “But no matter what I’ve done/ No matter how far I run/ I just hope deep down you’re proud of me.”

This record feels very relevant and relatable as the band addresses the anxieties and realities of the human experience. The eleventh track, “Damage,” depicts the story of love lost, missed opportunity and growth through a “what could have been” narrative that shows the vulnerable side of the band. “Look Up” is a callout to a society that is stuck in the digital realm. “Enough, kick connection out the back door/ Scroll up, you won’t find what you’re looking for/ Tough luck, I can’t live like this anymore/ The whole wide world is waitin’ if you just look up,” Jordan sings.

Overall, I think that this album checks all of the boxes that it needs to. While some critics may say The Band CAMINO’s sound is recycled and overheard, I believe that the opposite is true. What this band offers is a fresh perspective on the pop-rock and alternative genres that proves they plan on sticking around for a while. The beats and baselines are catchy, and will make any listener bob their head because it is so hard not to. I believe the most resonant component of this album are the messages that the band’s lyrics leave you with. With that in mind, I would give “The Band CAMINO” a 8.5 out of 10 star rating.

A few of my personal favorites from this album are “Underneath my Skin,” “I Think I Like You,” “EVERYBODYDIES” and “Help Me Get Over You.”

This story was written by Kim Cook. She can be reached at kimberly.cook@marquette.edu.