Exposé Online banner

The Fast Camels — Tales of the Expected
(Magic Optician MORCD03, 2016, CD)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2016-11-06

Tales of the Expected Cover art

The Fast Camels is a relatively new band from Glasgow that is heavily influenced by 60s psychedelic rock. Drew Sturgeon (vocals and guitar) and Mark O’Connor (vocals and lead guitar) got together in 2006, enlisting help from Joe “Big Daddy Smyth” Smith (drums and vocals), Andy Rennie (bass and vocals), and Craig Jenkins (percussion and vocals). Tales of the Expected is their third album. O’Connor says, “We like to exaggerate real people for our own amusement,” and that is exactly what you experience across the ten songs on this 39 minute release. The lyrics are well written, intelligent, minimally repetitious, and filled with wry humor covering a wide variety of people and situations. Their musical touchstones are of course Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd, a bit of West Coast psych, and early Who as well as some psych-rap and perhaps a bit of Bauhaus. The disc opens with the title track about someone withdrawing from society and turning to alcohol reminding me a bit a “Candy and a Currant Bun” mixed with some hard rock elements. “Keep the Noise Down for Matilda” is about going to see a live band and another mash up of musical elements. And there is an annoyingly familiar 60s psych reference that I cannot quite identify. “Nothing’s Easy” is not a Jethro Tull cover, but a West Coast love ballad. Track four is “Dead Celebs,” a story about an elderly man stabbed by youths that builds to a great guitar solo. Then we have “Madame Matron,” kind of like their nod to One Flew over the Cuckoos Nest. It takes a while before you realize this song is from the perspective of a drugged patient in a lunatic asylum. This dark song has semi-spoken vocals and harmonies that remind me quite a bit of the Soft Hearted Scientists. Next is “Watchmaker,” a sci-fi inspired song with surreal lyrics reminding me of both Harlan Ellison and Pink Floyd’s “Lucifer Sam.” “Falling of the Sands” is a trippy mind journey recalling a bit of the Amboy Dukes. Then we have the odd wad song “Chicken BO” about a guy working in a fast food kitchen trying to kill himself by eating too much. This song sounds much like one of Pete Townsend’s early Who songs. “Joy of Roy” is another early Pink Floyd inspired ballad about having a child and struggling with the changes in lifestyle when becoming a parent. And the disc closes with “Searching for Flinkplantsoen,” basically an encounter with “Aqualung” on a train platform. This song gets a bit edgy and crazy with an excellent guitar solo that closes the song. All in all, quite an even release that is sure to please.


Filed under: New releases, 2016 releases

Related artist(s): The Fast Camels

Latest news

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Peter Frohmader & Fuchs-Gamböck - Das Ist Alles – German rock journalist Michael Fuchs-Gamböck and Peter Frohmader met at a Faust concert in 1997. Their mutual interest in Krautrock and experimental music led to a lasting friendship and now a...  (2001) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues