I can’t remember who introduced me to Camper Van Beethoven back in high school. At the time, I had aspirations of being a metal drummer, but their first album, Telephone Free Landslide Victory grabbed my attention in a way that nothing in the metal world ever has. With the raw ambition of a garage band, coupled with a strange blend of ska and Eastern European folk music, CVB were most definitely in a class by themselves. The defining instrument of their sound being the disturbing violin tones of Jonathan Segel.
Despite a strong following on the college radio circuit, the closest CVB ever came to mass acceptance was a remake of the Status Quo song, Pictures of Matchstick Men (although, I firmly believe that Take The Skinheads Bowling should have been a Top 40 smash). As the band evolved, David Lowrey, emerged as the frontman figure, which ultimately killed CVB at first, and Lowrey went on to succeed with Cracker. Around that time, I forgot about the existence of CVB, aside from occasionally playing old albums. Apparently they’ve been busy since I last checked in on the band; releasing some old material, recording some new material, going on tour, and generally doing all the things a working band does. Check out the old stuff to get a feel for what this band is about and then grow with them through their evolution.