“I thought this place would be sweaty, but you guys look dry as f*ck,” Tom Miller of Black Camaro remarks as the band gets into its set, dripping and having a hell of a good time by the look of it. The musicians aren’t alone: The crowd is right there with them, singing along as they juke across the Royal House’s tiny dancefloor.
Why is this the first time I’ve seen this band? They’re a local mainstay, a favorite since “Las Vegas indie band” was largely considered an oxymoron. But if I had to wait to see them, the release party for Black Camaricans seems like the right time. The new album is pretty impressive, featuring elements of slick pop, blues, funk and rock, and laying down a lot of dancey rhythms over infectious lyrics.
Vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Brian Garth attributes the new sound to a few innovations in the band’s approach to recording, along with collaborations with local heroes like the family Marth (Melissa, Ryan and the late Tommy). When BC finally landed in its new Downtown studio Chrome Werewolf, Garth explains, “We had a bigger studio and better gear. We went from our old sound to a kind of polished newer vibe, the transition from the restrictions of a 24-track to the seemingly unlimited capabilities of the DAW [digital audio workstation] helped to make the sound incredible …but it also made it take forever.”
The group began recording Black Camaricans three years ago, but fans at the release party seem unfazed by the wait. That kind of loyalty dates back to older tracks like 2005’s “Miniature Panthers,” played as the penultimate song of the night. To my ears, though, tracks like show (and album) opener “Summer of Dirt” and finale “Fer-De-Lance” should carry the band into a new phase of popularity, attracting more loyal Camaricans.