Here’s a few words others have used to describe Camera-Head Shark: Hyperactive. Bubbly. Infectious. Those words could also be used to describe fever-induced puss sores, though. Well, then, here’s some of the comparisons drawn by other music critics and bloggers: Monkees. Barenaked Ladies. Somewhere between Camper Van Beethoven and Cake. Beatles-inspired. From Monkees to Beatles? By now, you’ve realized that this is an odd band, indeed.
Recorded in a basement between April and June of 2007, “Oh, Boy” is an eclectic collection of indie-pop tunes that is remarkable in the lack of similarity between any of the tracks. It starts with “Punched,” an organ-driven, light pop tune that would sit well on a Belle & Sebastian record, were it not for the violent refrain: “I heard you got punched with a flashlight.” It’s a great song, but instead of ending, it just suddenly stops. As if the entire band had been, well, punched. “Baby Midnight” croons “I need my bones! Don’t take my bowowowowowowones!” What does that mean? I have no idea. But it’s catchy. And the ending coda, where something that may be zombies whispers “We need your bones!” is flat out creepy weird. But I love it! “Pack Up Your Suitcase” sounds like something out of an off-Broadway musical. It doesn’t work as well for me as some of the other oddities on the album, but when a band is as offbeat as this, you can’t expect everything to stick. Some songs even sound like sing-a-longs (“Help Me Out”). Then there’s the country-tinged “I Can’t Wait,” a good closing track, that ends in a psychedelic whirl of fiddle and piano. The album also features twee vocals, violin, cello, trumpet . . . Incredible variety. Check it out.