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Camperdown & Out
- Couldn’t Be Better

Nathan John Roche (Marf Loth) and Alex Kiers (Raw Prawn) show glimpses of songwriting shrewdness here, and have definitely done so via their other bands.

Samson McDougall

Apr 15th 2013 | Label: Popfrenzy
Camperdown & Out don't put a whole lot on the line here. Couldn't Be Better plods along at a barely-deviated-from mid tempo with monotonous Sydney-centric observational lyrics yawned out; but it's not without some kind of slack charm. Trouble is, the bright but wilting guitars and bored commentary are relentless in their own kind of limp way. It's a dirge, and not in an instrumental way. These are a series of songs designed to make you want to stay in bed for the day.

Manly is a poor choice to get things off the mark; anyone who's been to the beach suburb can attest to the mundanity of the place – it's better off left well alone. Don't Have A Dog, St Peters and Down And Out follow, and equate to one of the more interesting groups of songs on the album. Tropics Of Capricorn is snoreworthy – a good enough reason in itself to change the record.

But that would be a mistake. The back half features some snappy pop songwriting. Follow Me finally introduces some variation in guitar playing, while Hey Woman ups the tempo and is actually sung with a bit of feeling. South Coast falls into the more mediocre end of the song spectrum here and while album closer, Morphine Dream, is perhaps the highlight in terms of instrumentation and mood – conjuring early Velvet Underground – the abysmal lyrics are sadly left ringing through your mind.

Nathan John Roche (Marf Loth) and Alex Kiers (Raw Prawn) show glimpses of songwriting shrewdness here, and have definitely done so via their other bands. But the sluggishness of the whole borders on unbearable and Couldn't Be Better amounts to something that should be so much more.


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