“It’s just one of those places where you can drink all day by the river and you never get sick or tired or bored,” said Matt Benson, lead guitarist of Camp Howard, while reminiscing on the Western Virginia namesake of the band. Camp Howard is a rock ‘n’ roll collective from Richmond, Virginia. Known for their breezy, grungy rock that gives you that riverside beer drinking peace of mind, Camp Howard has been packing their local venue and eatery Strange Matter with Citrus City Records label friends, and creating buzz with the single off of their upcoming self-titled album, Veins. The album will be released on cassette by Citrus City and Bad Grrrl Records, as well as via CD with Crystal Pistol Records on March 11. On the same night there will be an album release show at the band’s stomping ground, Strange Matter.
Camp Howard formed through Virginia Commonwealth University’s arts community via James River High School. In 2014, Nic Perea began recording his first album with a group named Joey while attending James River. Through a series of personnel changes, the album was released as Too Many Days Ahead, under his own name. This album featured some instrumental help from future Camp Howard band mates, Weston Parker on guitar/bass and Brian Larson on percussion. Too Many Days Ahead has provided somewhat of a template for the band’s upcoming album stylistically, but was not in any way a true ‘Camp Howard’ album. Perea recently described the process for Too Many Days Ahead after the change as “just me kind of saying ‘fuck it, I am just going to release this to get it out there.’”
Just over two years since Too Many Days Ahead, the group has added Matthew Benson on lead guitar and reinvented themselves under the moniker Camp Howard. The group is very excited with the direction the band has been going, both musically and with the reactions they have been receiving from fans. With new songs and cohesive, often genuinely funny live shows, the band has been delivering as of late, which should make for a unique and exciting record and album release party.
Joining Camp Howard at the album release party next Friday will be Richmond musicians Pete Curry, Collin Thibodeauxx, and Clair Morgan. Curry is a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who plays with local bands Black Water Gold, Death Birds Surf Club, and The You Go Girls, while Thibodeauxx has a lo-fi group that has a few releases through Citrus City records, including their album Nothing Buttrock. Morgan heads a math rock-tinged, indie pop group, also from Richmond, who recently received a glowing shout out from Noisey. Doors are at 8, music starts at 9, and there will be a 5$ cover at the door. Cassettes and CDs of the new album will be available.
For North Carolina listeners, Camp Howard will be playing at Black Cat in Boone with Way Das, White Woolly, and Blake Hornsby on April 9.
Written by Max Wiggins