Peach Tree Rascals – Camp Nowhere: Review

An elegant array of synchronized melodies and harmonies, the occasional rap-verse, and silky production are some of the best ways to describe the overall construct that envelops the musical collective, Peach Tree Rascals. After blowing up on Tik Tok, from excessive use of their standout single “Mariposa,” they come forth with their debut, full of modern pop songs with some unique twists, Camp Nowhere. Built upon the sonic concepts and beautiful vocal ranges, the heavy focus on pop music allows them to build vague overtures to keep it in that realm, while staying true to their character. Camp Nowhere has consistent momentum, despite losing itself in the sound by feeling slightly repetitive; however there are a number of elegant songs that keep a rhythm, albeit nothing popping out as anything really special outside of the production.

Camp Nowhere is a blend of vibrant, and at times broken down, instrumentations that leave imprints in the mind from the transitions that blend those instrumentations with the harmonies. But that isn’t always the case. Around the middle of the road, it can become slightly forgettable – in a sense of forgetting where on the tracklist you are currently. It is a testament to the similarities in the execution that allows for the songs to have one compact cohesion, which works more frequently than not. To the common listener it will take you on whirlwinds of pop-bliss, with its overall approach to the synchronization of the sounds. Where it doesn’t work is that the mystifying sounds lose you and there is no sense of a definitive distinction in tracks, except for “Oh Honey! (I Love You).” It closes the album with a primarily simple string arrangement that begins to grow in volume and complexity as the ballad begins to build momentum with the percussion notes in the verses. 

There was a higher standard implemented by their opening track “OOZ,” which is where the production truly shines as it breathes off the authenticity behind the pop-rock landscape. That is where the group excels in, and where they show flashes of a lot on their debut, Camp Nowhere.

For the most part, though, the production is something Peach Tree Rascals love to play around with some simple archetypal sonic layers, like in the percussion, but from there they work in fleshing out the different sequences. But that usually camouflages in rhythm-melodies, that the forgettability becomes a slight issue, albeit the songs flowing swimmingly. Some songs get lost in the mix and you start to think they flow as one long construction, though you could blame the constant array of acoustic guitars that feel repetitive at times. However, this makes Camp Nowhere keep its intrigue for some to go back and listen to each track individually and absorb the lush sounds; some of which have these beautiful subtleties, especially in two of the tracks that suffer to find distinction and blend in too much, “JoJo” and “papá.”

“JoJo,” is a trap-pop hybrid that builds up the trap-like percussion pattern and the auto-tune/vocal reverbs on the harmonies teases you a song that ends up being a slower love jam. The other track “papá,” is another slow jam, that has more reliance on the melodies to keep a smooth consistency. It is what stands out the most, unlike “JoJo,” which is viceversa. It doesn’t benefit both tracks that they start as quickly as it ends and the transition out doesn’t have a lasting impact. 

The songwriting has a beautiful cadence that wraps around nuanced trends in the harmonizations and melodies like on the aforementioned “Oh Honey! (I Love You).” The sweet analogies and the simple, yet catchy flows of the rap verses boosts the constructs of the sounds, but they aren’t always the most refreshing aspects of the album. Fortunately the melodies remedy that with their infectious catchiness and emotional vibrance.

Camp Nowhere is a vibrant debut project from Peach Tree Rascals that continues their upward trend in dynamic, albeit the simple orchestrations, pop ballads and shifty melodies that surprise you in various twists and turns. It’s a solid release from the collective who have shown a higher ceiling waiting for them to grow into, especially as they start to experiment a little bit beyond the acoustic strings.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

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