The album starts smoothly, acoustic guitar, few noises and a whispering voice spoken in… Hungarian about music. Pretty strange for a band from Porto Alegre, Brazil. Don’t get fooled: this is raging, contorted, striped down to the bones, pure hardcore, back to the basics but looking forward music. It’s furious and experimental, cutting and abstract simultaneously. Reminds me of a widely obscure album from 1995, “Mountains of Madness” by H.P. Zinker, a band formed at New York and unfairly forgotten, although, that particular album was Grammy nominated. Anyway, The Bruce Campbell Punk Rock Trio, commonly know just as Campbell Trio, bring to the surface parts from a world of madness.
They says: “This is not a band. This is libel, slander, defamation of character. This is not a band, in the ordinary sense of the word. No, this is a prolonged insult, a gob of spit in the face of art, a kick in the pants to god, man, destiny, time, love, beauty, what you will. We are going to sing for you. A little off key perhaps, but we will sing. we will sing while you croak, we will dance over your dirty corpse!
To sing you must first open your mouth. You must have a pair of lungs, and a little knowledge of music. It is not necessary to have an accordion, or a guitar. The essential thing is to want to sing. This then is a song. We are singing.”
And after the quiet introduction of “Don’t Be Afraid; an Introduction”, “Don Copal or the Department of Death” explode in your loudspeakers…
If you want to buy the physical version of “The Campbell Trio Sings the Blues,” which comes on a beautiful handmade package with silk screened artwork and a zine with lyrics and the Trio’s impressions, write to: [email protected]
If you wanna listen or download the album for free, go to their Bandcamp page. But “the revolution will not be downloaded”… although since ’89 revolutions are televised and more recently tweeted…
They said “to sing you must first open your mouth”, but to open your mouth, first you have to open your mind and your soul, you need the spirit. And they have the spirit, and they have the guts to open their mind, soul and mouth. “The Campbell Trio Sings The Blues” is not an easy listening, but an exciting one.
Sounds raw, garage-like, the material was recorded some time between late 2008 and early 2010 at Diego’s bedroom on his and Rafa’s house in Porto Alegre, extreme south of Brazil, except for the drums, which were recorded at Music Box Studios, and the gang vocals of “Y’s,” which were recorded on the bathroom. All the songs were produced, engineered, recorded, mixed and mastered by Campbell Trio at Diego’s bedroom. The artwork and package were created, developed and handmade by Campbell Trio. Absolute DIY.
They also says: “Feel free to share, copy, distribute, transmit, broadcast, remix, or use this music and words to do whatever you want for any noncommercial purpose. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work under the same conditions.”
While there are bands such Campbell Trio, we’re not totally lost yet and maybe still there’s a spark of hope. But nobody will open his mouth in your behalf or place while you keep your mind shut down and your soul buried.