Camper Van Beethoven, Camper Van Beethoven

Douglas Wolk

By Douglas Wolk

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Camper Van Beethoven

Camper Van Beethoven
Camper once again wrestles with the space between the Woodstock generation’s dreams and its soundtrack.

Alternative music has always had a difficult relationship with classic rock, and most of Camper Van Beethoven's third album is a wrestling match with the Woodstock generation's dreams and soundtrack. Highlights: multiple Led Zep jokes, a sardonic recitative called "Peace & Love" and a Pink Floyd cover that dissolves into entropic noise over the course of eight minutes. CVB, however, was also very much a California band, dancing in the trash-strewn wake of punk rock and Reagan-era politics. The group's best records ran on the friction between singer David Lowery's deadpan jokes and violinist Jonathan Segel's woozy Eastern European folk-inflected melodies, and this one's got their funniest and most plangent moments.