You can lie on a beach in Maui and soak up the sun, or you can flip on Summer Salt’s latest album, Happy Camper, and surf your couch’s recliner. Either way, you’re sure to feel a warmth in your heart and euphoric goosebumps crawl up your arms (but unless you already live in Maui, the latter is much cheaper).
Although it has yet to receive the buzz of their six-hit-wonder EP, Driving to Hawaii, Summer Salt’s latest album offers just as much charisma in its riffs, relatability in its lyrics, and overarching “coral-reef rock” sound the band describes themselves as.
Matt Terry’s unique vocals continue to shine backed by fuzzy guitar tones and Eugene Chung’s classy drumbeats as each song tells its story. Fans can expect the album’s lyrical scope to range from lost love, dogs, cars, and family values. Musically the album is serene, and lyrically it’s easily digestible; for all of its pros, however, the album becomes divisive in one department.
Most of the 12 songs on the album follows a similar formula to that of the band’s previous discography, and at times the music feels too in-experimental and predictable. It’s fine when bands remain true to their sound, but with strong reminiscence comes a void where LPs go to be forgotten. The albums critique may stem discussion among fans, but regardless, the album itself is not to be overlooked. Songs like “Revvin’ my CJ-7” and “Lovesick” were exceptional reinvigorations of charming melodies, and “Speaking Sonar” was an adequate reach for musical innovation. Also, when speaking for myself, Summer Salt’s sound is hardly ever tiresome. Many of the songs swayed and sung emotionally like their predecessors, and that continues to be felt through any stereo or pair of headphones.
With the recent incidents the band has gone through — from letting go of their former bassist, losing their backing guitarist/vocalist, and cancelling their previously planned “Happy Camper” tour — the album should be considered a win for the surviving duo. Happy Camper reaches a medium that is sweet enough to both please old fans and enthrall curious listeners.