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Camera Obscura

Camera Obscura is not pulling any punches: they're out to rock you so hard you fall onto the dance floor. The band launches its aural attack using an arsenal comprised of Michelle Maskovich's squealing keyboards, Duane Pitre's mountains of guitar squiggle, William Lamb's thunderous drums, and Russell White's urgent-yet-muffled vocals. Like a dance party during a tornado watch, Camera Obscura throws caution and moderation out the window in favor of thrilling, adventurous sound combinations.

Camera Obscura formed in '98 in San Diego, incorporating members of The Shortwave Channel, The Interstate Ten, and Spanakorzo. The band self-released a seven-inch (now in its fourth pressing on Three One G Records) in October '98 and went on its first U.S. tour in January '99. More touring and recording followed, leading up to the release of their first full-length, 2000's To Change the Shape of an Envelope, on Troubleman Unlimited.

"Twenty-five Diamonds," "Sarasota," and "Aeronautical," the three featured songs from that album, exemplify Camera Obscura's hypnotic combination of driving aggression and swirling melody. New Wave synths collide with verging-on-hardcore guitar and drums, and the result has more energy than a nuclear warhead (with a much better beat). It's catchier and sexier than pneumonia in heels, so prepare to be infected.