Love Camp 7

  • Love Camp 7
  • Love Camp 7 EP (Bowlmor) 1990 
  • Where the Green Ends (Ger. Houses in Motion) 1992  (Bowlmor) 1993 
  • Conspiracy of the Flowers (Ger. Houses in Motion) 1994 
  • Live in Vegas (Bowlmor) 1996 

This literate Brooklyn group, named for a trashy 1968 sex flick, came together in the late ’80s. Guitarist Dann Baker, bassist Bruce Hathaway and drummer Dave Campbell (sometimes with a fourth member, on guitar or sax) have a keenly developed sense of interplay, and their collaborative material could have been arrived at in no other manner. With all three core members singing — often in carefully arranged harmonies — Love Camp 7 presents a friendly sheen that stands in contrast to the quirky turns in the music and the peculiar lyrics. They can rock out when they want to, and they want to on most songs — but only for a little while, then they abruptly change direction. They’re like a big funny guy who unexpectedly asks to borrow your eyeglasses. Confidently loopy without being comical and arty without being arch, Love Camp 7 comes up with either the oddest hooks or the hookiest oddities. And they occasionally turn the guitars up real loud.

Following the five-song EP and a pair of singles, LC7 began making albums. Where the Green Ends and Conspiracy of the Flowers are pretty much interchangeable. The former has such eccentric inventions as “A Million Martha Grahams,” “My Love Is Measured in Inches” and “Dinah Shore (Is the Lesbian Next Door).” The band only misses the mark when it takes on covers: Conspiracy of the Flowers‘ version of Phil Spector’s “Then I Kissed Her” (done as “Then She Kissed Me”) shows that the group’s idiosyncrasies don’t translate to other people’s songs.

Live in Vegas isn’t.

[David Greenberger]