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Tropical Mayhem: Alfred Beach Sandal’s “Camping Car Is Dead”

On “Camping Car Is Dead,” Alfred Beach Sandal propose an intriguing idea – beach music that sounds like it belongs nowhere near an actual coastline. Despite having several sand-coasted trademarks, including very prominent steel drum bouncing, “Camping Car Is Dead” feels like a jigsaw puzzle of Malibu constructed in such a way that everything sorta fits together but the resulting picture looks wrong. Those steel drums, usually a signifier of good times and possibly Bud Light Lime, just seem out of time with everything else going on in Alfred Beach Sandal’s world. Everything seems a little slanted here – all the sounds go together but also don’t feel like they’ve ever met one another, just going off on their own thing. “Camping Car Is Dead” manages to make it work – like the early work of similar “tropical punk” band Abe Vigoda, it gels just enough to become sneakily catchy – though I’d also be almost certain this isn’t the summer jam of Japan 2011 edition. Those songs never sound this headscratching. Watch below.