Camera-Head Shark

Oh, You

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Oh, You by Camera-Head Shark is an absolutely terrific Beatles-inspired collection of 11 songs co-written by pianist Ry Smith and guitarist/vocalist George Kalivas, with the exception of the manic, neo-George Harrison-ish "Abeya," which has Luke Shaljian contributing with the duo on the songwriting. It's amazing that this was recorded in a basement between April and June of 2007, because the dense pop sound could have come out of a major-league studio, everything so perfectly presented and bursting out of the speakers with an effervescent sunshine pop feel. "Kurbana Novain" sounds nothing like Nirvana but it drives with a happy-go-lucky madness that dissipates the cynicism. Heavy piano from the Magical Mystery Tour era keeps the short two-minute "Fire Drill" driving, while "Face the Day" takes its cues from Jeff Lynne and Electric Light Orchestra, even lifting the intro to "Evil Woman" and adding some Hurricane Smith production ideas. The pièce de résistance of this superb outing has to be an incredible number, "Pack Up Your Suitcase," which is irresistible Top 40 in the vein of Emitt Rhodes/Merry-Go-Round's delightful "Live," descending into total fun chaos while making the decision to tell the girlfriend it's over with a capital O. Everything about this album is amazing and out of left field, making one wonder where has this band -- and music like this -- been hiding. Terrific sounds flow from "Since the Stone Age," not only with the pauses and the backing vocal elegance, but the urgency with which these fellows tear through their short and very appealing songs. Oh, You is absolute magic and is built to brighten up any party. If only more records got hip to the fact that the Beatles are the textbook, not to be copied, but to be emulated. Camera-Head Shark emulate while putting their own stamp and mayhem on the sound. Someone give them a TV show à la the Monkees; this stuff deserves to be heard.

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