Until lead singer David Lowery's angry anti-downloading open letter to NPR intern Emily White went viral last year, most of the world hadn't thought much about Camper Van Beethoven in a long time. Best known for their nonsensical 1985 novelty punk hit Take The Skinheads Bowling, the band went dormant for most of the 90s, reunited in 1999 and released a mostly ignored album in 2004. But courtesy of the dialogue that Lowery sparked, the one-hit-wonder college rock band is back on the radar.
La Costa Perdida clears up why they never topped the success of their signature tune. Surrealist joke songs have an extremely limited market, especially when they're light on hooks. And the bigger problem is an overall lack of energy; there are only so many mid-tempo middle-of-the-road psych-pop songs you can listen to before starting to watch the clock. Maybe the reason Lowery has a hard time selling records these days has less to do with downloading and more to do with the songs he's trying to sell.
Top track: Too High For The Love-In