that they've yet to appear on an American stage.
Camel's music is based on the intricate textures woven by multi-keyboardist Peter Bardens and guitarist Andy Latimer; each movement (a more appropriate term than song in the case of Camel) is structured to achieve the maximum effect from the chordal progression. The overall effect is a series of richly developed pieces similar in style to some of the earlier work of Focus. Comparisons, as always, are odious, though useful as a jumping-off point.
And jumping-off is just what Camel does. What other group would develop a concept album about lunar lunacy and bring the message across via some extremely tasteful jazz organ riffs from Peter Bardens?
Camel has never been overly concerned with lyrics, preferring to let the music speak for itself. Riding wave after wave of lunar mellotron and synthesizer, the music moves with a pace that suggests extraterrestrial travel—always in motion toward some defined end, but without any feeling of past or future. Just when you find yourself drifting away into the cosmos, the music rips out into a high-energy spin led by the guitar of Andy Latimer.
Camel is a band whose time to make waves in the U.S. has arrived—anyone who can develop the kind of following this band has must have something on the ball.
They're not for everyone's taste—working in the area of progressive music always opens the door to charges of pomposity. Camel's been through that particular little mud-slinging rut by now. Last year they were voted the Brightest Hope in the Melody Maker Readers' Poll; this year, they're fulfilling that promise.
CAMEL'S BEST HUMPS: "Chord Change", "Another Night", "Air Born"