In Camera

13 (Lucky for Some)

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The real beauty of independent labels like Teenbeat is their ability to put out records like 13 (Lucky for Some), a complete retrospective of the short-lived English post-punk band In Camera (roughly 1979-1981) -- the album's release probably has more to do with Mark Robinson's personal inclinations than any sense of posterity, but that doesn't make it any less interesting. In Camera's work falls somewhere in line with better-known bands like Wire and Gang of Four, only concentrating on the dark, fractured end of this genre rather than the adrenalized punk aggression -- most of the tracks on 13 bear a resemblance to the more sinister, chaotic numbers on Gang of Four's Peel Sessions. But even if the band's work doesn't quite live up to the genre's finest practitioners, there's a good deal of appealing material in their catalog -- plus there's the odd historical quality of these recordings, standing as something like a time capsule of the British post-punk scene. Teenbeat's release also includes circa-1991 mixes of In Camera material, which are decent enough listening even if they ruin the sonic purity of the remaining tracks.

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