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The Reinventionists: The Camerawalls

MANUAL Magazine – April 2008
by Paul John Cana

Let’s get it out of the way: Yes, this is the new band of that guy who was in the sunny, citrusy band called Orange and Lemons. And no, the name isn’t a dig at that reality show his former bandmate appeared in soon after the split. You know, the one with the house with cameras in its walls? ” Its really an anagram of our names,: Clementine says. “it was supposed to be “Cinemawall”. But I made a mistake and unconsciously typed `Camerawalls’ when I was texting the others about it. We played around with The Butterfly Collectors, The Love Keys, The Cock Syrup…”

“I was totally opposed to that last one,” Ian interjects. Good call.

Soon after the dissolution of that other band, Clementine was forced to pick up the pieces and regroup. But instead of getting weathered musicians to play with, he enlisted the services of old friends. Bassist Law was a founding member of Orange and Lemons way, way before they hit it big with “Pinoy Ako”, while Ian was a constant presence in the old band’s gigs at their regular haunts. You could say he started from scratch to get rid of the itch to make music his way, naysayers and commercial appeal be damned.

The ghosts of the New Romantics, along with a smattering of indie-pop and indie rock influences permeate every note that escapes from their instruments. Songs by Morrissey, The Pale Fountains, The Desert Wolves and The Jam all make their way into their set list and, in small doses even in their original songs. We suspect this is the direction Clementine tried and failed to steer OnL to. Nobody saw the break-up coming, especially long time fans who recognized and appreciated the genuine talent simmering beneath the mop tops of the erstwhile Castro-Fundales creative, but perhaps it was the best thing that could have happened to the band. While the other three from OnL huddled together and went one way (signed to a major label and released an album of sale, middle-of-the-road 80’s covers), the “unwanted one” (as Clementine refers to himself) went another way and pursued his own passions. He and his new found cohorts may be playing to a far smaller, more fastidious audience, but in the end, all you could ever really hope for is that there are people out there willing to listen.

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