Album ReviewMusic

ALBUM REVIEW: I Told You So: “The Dark” Keeps Rocking

  • Post Author
    by Music director
  • Post Date
    Sun Mar 10 2024

BY: Martha Kowalski

Heck. YES. Take a bow, The Band CAMINO. The rock trio has always made amazing guitar and percussion heavy music, with steady verses and then a firework of a chorus causing dynamic lip-syncing. “Daphne Blue,” “See Through,” and “Know It All” deserve maximum volume on my speakers, but even these songs: step aside – alright, maybe not “Daphne Blue” – from the collusion of drums colliding in The Dark.

This album is so melodically powerful. Contrary to its shadowy title, The Dark is actually incredibly upbeat and buoyant: instruments animated, vocals packed densely with intensity but yet still somehow feeling light and easy through climbing scales and synthesized harmonies, the percussion background as responsive to the lyrics as the vocals with skilled lyrics – it comes together into one seamless whole. The “dark” is not supposed to be eerie and ghostly, but rather it explains exploring the deeper feelings of a relationship – some good, but mostly disastrous: “Afraid of the Dark” should be the song that describes this album's theme, visualizer included – see below.

The structure of the album is really smart and effective. The opener, “Told You So,” sets a dramatic mood to match the title with loud, monotone vocals and buzzing instruments in full rock mode, but after that, the songs get less aggressive, actually even more sarcastic. Do not be deceived by the song titles: you need to hear the context of the whole song, because “It's You (It's You)' literally does not mean, “it's not you; it's me,” and “See You Later” is not a good-bye. Then “Afraid of the Dark” comes along, strategically placed, and switches up the mood for the remainder of the track – but yet again, not sounding dark and frightening, yet again, gentler and more melodic. The tracks following “Afraid of the Dark” have more of the deeper, addicting rock flavor throughout “Novocaine” and “Three Month Hangover,” closing out with “Last Man in the World” as the last song in the album.

Most of my favorite songs on this album are the deeper rock tracks with dynamic and strong guitars and drums, as that's a general defining feature of my favorite music and The Band CAMINO in general. So along those lines fall “Told You So” and “Novocaine,” which sounds to me like it belongs in a haunting medical drama, packing just enough punch in the chorus. The general ambiance of “Afraid of the Dark” really works for me too, encapsulating the routine of checking the door and turning on all the lights in the house to imitate the phobia with a cool almost synthetic, ghostly, pulling vocals in the chorus harmonies – I really like this song. Another of my favorites is “Same Page” because it is so lyrically creative that I don't have any more words to describe what The Band CAMINO already did.

I don't have to tell you so that The Band CAMINO's The Dark album is really good next album from this rock/indie rock trio – let The Band themselves tell you.