RATING: 9/10

Camp Cope are one of the most curious bands on the scene right now. Having graced stages alongside (and for the most part been better than) huge bands like Against Me! and the dearly departed Modern Baseball, Camp Cope have always been incredible for a band that are still very much in their infancy, having only formed in 2015. With an eponymous record already under their belt, Camp Cope step up to the plate with the followup: ‘How To Socialise & Make Friends’.

“IT’S A painfully earnest look into the life of a female in the music industry in 2018…”

‘How To Socialise & Make Friends’ feels somewhat like excerpts of front woman Georgia Maq’s diary. Detailing topics such as sexism in the music industry (The Opener), maintaining troubled friendships (Sagan-Indiana) and even reflection of sexual assault (The Face Of God), HTS&MF feels somewhat like a no-holds-barred, painfully earnest look into the life of a female in the music industry in 2018.

Contrasting the last record, the storytelling on HTS&MF is exceptional. It feels as though Camp Cope have stepped up the emotion while still managing to maintain a cool slacker vibe. Maq’s somewhat nonchalant vocal performance on tracks like ‘Anna’, feel like they find a pocket to necessitate that adds to the track rather than feeling lazy, something that would be easy to slip into in this style of music.

Although most of this record is full of relatively simple musicianship, it does not hold it back in any way. Bassist, Kelly-Dawn Hellmrich, puts in an incredible shift on bass, providing relatively simple melodies that find the deepest place of your brain to take root in and just wont seem to leave. This is especially brought to the forefront on the track ‘Animal & Real’, in which the wandering baseline carries the entire track.

Something that is great about Camp Cope is the fact that they feel like a jam band. Just a bunch of mates that have rocked up into a garage, somewhere in the middle of Australia and decided to knock out these incredible, well thought out songs. Just because a lot of the musical canvas is simple and looping, the songs never feel boring. The variation in melody and delivery in the vocals prove that every single detail of the album is meticulously planned out, even if at times it doesn’t feel like it.

“Moreover, it can’t be denied that this record feels incredibly crucial in this social climate.”

Moreover, it can’t be denied that HTS&MF feels incredibly crucial in this social climate. Camp Cope show that they aren’t afraid to tackle insanely dark topics, this is most prevalent in the stomach churning ‘The Face Of God’ in which the lyrics entail a painful recount and reflection of a sexual assault. It’s enough to make even the stoniest of exteriors crack and break down. Moreover, ‘The Opener’ details the inherent sexism that is so prevalent in the rock music industry today, and just how unfairly Camp Cope have been treated in the past by males in the industry. However, with an album as good as this, Camp Cope won’t be confined to “booking a smaller venue” and “not filling up the room” as the lyrics on this track entail for too much longer.

Camp Cope have put out one hell of a record in How To Socialise & Make Friends. They make incredible, simple songwriting seem easy, almost if you mixed together fellow quirky Aussie, Courtney Barnett with some of the slower moments on emo contemporaries Joyce Manor’s last album. This feels like an incredibly important record in 2018, you wont be disappointed.




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