I feel the above video is necessary in the inclusion of this review. Without it you could be forgiven for thinking that yet another hip young indie band are taking an interest in the 80’s far beyond the usual homage of the leg warmer and frizzy hairdo. Given the exchange between the band members in the opening verse it sounds like they’ve stopped paying tribute to 80’s synth pop bands and transformed into one. The sickly clichés of a deteriorating relationship and cringe worthy use of repetitious transfer seemed to lack the dark sense of humour and biting cynicism so often used to justify this kind of nostalgic tribute to long dead trends.
But then you take a look at the video and realise that there is indeed a joke but it isn’t on them. It hilariously lampoons old 80’s portrait sessions, the kind you can see on the mantelpiece of any middle aged couple in the country. It takes the vanity so often associated with such practices and uses it to expose the flaws in a relationship that now exists only to keep up appearances. They smile for the camera and sing the bitter liyrics, all the while their grins slowly morph into grimaces, their eyes betraying the frustration and resentment they feel for each other.
It does a brilliant job in complementing the theme of conflict the song is built around. Summer Camp sound like a cross between Human League and The Jesus and Mary Chain, contrasting a distorted percussion with whimsical whistling and pleasantly middle class dueting. The constantly changing perspective gives you both sides of the argument, itself juxtaposed with a chorus in which they finally express the only opinion which they share, that they can no longer stand to be in each other’s company. It feels like an orgasmic release of all the tensions built up in the verses, a true unrestrained expression of aggravation punctuated by a guitar that relieves the couple of all their burdens and regrets.
Summer Camp have taken a concept known for dividing and destroying those it touches and have used it to unite all aspects of the track , creating one of the most harmonious three minutes of music 2012 has produced so.