After weeks of speculation and anticipation, the alternative rock group The Band CAMINO finally released their new EP, compellingly titled “tryhard.” The record includes eight tracks, four of which have been previously released either as singles or on previous EPs. With its infectious beats, riveting guitar solos and heartwrenching lyrics, “tryhard” is easily The Band CAMINO’s best EP to date.
On the meaning behind the title of their EP, The Band CAMINO posted on Instagram: “somewhere along the way people have called us ‘try-hards’. people thinking we took ourselves too seriously or were trying to be something we weren’t. of course we’re try hards. of course we want to create something bigger than ourselves. people often use ‘try hard’ in a derogatory sense, but we’d rather own the fact that we’ve given every ounce of ourselves to making this music.”
The Band CAMINO poured their hearts and souls into this EP and their hard work has paid off tremendously. Given the complexity and diversity of the tracks, let’s examine each song individually:
1. “What I Want”
The leading song of the EP was actually first released on the EP “Heaven” back in 2017. Although The Band CAMINO hasn’t explained their reasoning for including the song on “tryhard,” the inclusion seems to be an attempt at bringing attention to their previous work. “What I Want” is the most angsty song of the EP: “Second chances, they don’t bother me/Time’s the only track to honesty/I know it’s not how I was raised to see/But I don’t care who you want me to be.”
The electric guitar rips through the words, mimicking the pain described by the lyrics. Bubbly pop notes dot the background, giving the song just the slightest trace of synth. Jordan’s vocals are strong, but simultaneously vulnerable, enveloping “What I Want” in a haunting tone.
2. “Hush Hush”
The second track of the EP is the most energetic and it exudes sexuality. I mean, what’s hotter than having a secret love affair? It’s a fact that sneaking around is more fun, and The Band CAMINO captures this lust perfectly. “I caught your eye across the room / No one can feel the tension between me and you / There’s no need to mention all the things I wanna do / You wanna do them too / We both know we’d be over if they knew.”
“Hush Hush” radiates pure rock; you’ll find the only the slightest trace of synth in this song. The electric guitar growls in the background while the drums provide a head-banging beat, creating an insatiable sexual energy.
3. “Daphne Blue”
“Daphne Blue” was released a year ago, and quickly became a fan favorite. Containing all the qualities of alternative rock, with pops of electric guitar and complementary streams of synth, the third track is an obvious breakup anthem.
The lyrics are masterfully written and extremely poignant: “I hesitate to say the ocean / could hold a candle to your eyes / You shut the door and cut me open / Now I’m wishin’ I was colorblind.”
“Honest” is truly a blast from the past, yet it doesn’t feel out of touch. Within the first few seconds, one might assume the song is an ‘80s pop-rock ballad. The high-pitched, squeaky notes are so high that it’s easy to miss them, but they also lend themselves to creating a nostalgic vibe.
Although “Honest” is old school, The Band CAMINO continues to prove themselves as relatable as ever. The lyrics describe the confusion that comes with a “situationship”: “We should be honest / cause sometimes I can’t tell / Do we really want this / or are we lying to ourselves?”
5. “See Through”
The millennial anthem “See Through” is a fresh blend of pop and rock, perfect for anyone who has felt the pain of being ghosted.
In a voice appropriately rife with anguish, Jordan sings, “You know how to keep me waiting / You know there’s a call that you missed / You know that I get impatient / cause I know you saw that s—t.”
This song sounds exactly like the title would suggest: lost, confused and scared. “Haunted” starts off slow with sharp staccato lyrics emphasized by the beat of the drum. Jordan’s voice is frighteningly hollow, reflecting the pain of a lost love:
“I still see your silhouette / I wish we’d never met / I’m living with the ghost of you.” The beat builds, and when the chorus begins, it suddenly drops into an exhilarating rush that is sure to induce chills.
Don’t be fooled by the upbeat opening of this song; “Farsighted” finds The Band CAMINO in the middle of an identity crisis. “There’s a distance between me and myself somehow / I don’t wanna miss it but I’m too close to make it out / I can see outside but it’s blurry when I’m looking in / How did I become a stranger in my skin?”
While the verse line has a peppy beat, the chorus reflects the true emotions behind the song with ripping guitar and drum solos. This interesting dichotomy makes “Farsighted” a great example of the genius of The Band CAMINO.
8. “Break Me”
The last track of the EP is a ballad about being taken advantage of, yet not caring because of “the way you make me feel.” The song is sonically reminiscent of ‘90s soft rock, giving it a vintage tone and no doubt appealing to the sentimental side of their fans. “Break Me” is the perfect track to complete “tryhard,” with its light melody and infectious beat. After listening to it, you’ll be saying “I can’t stop, though it might break me.”
Having yet to produce a full-length album, “tryhard” is a veritable thirst-quencher for loyal fans that have been begging for new music from the rock quartet. In this EP, The Band CAMINO manages to seamlessly blend rock with electronic pop in a whirlwind of synth and guitar riffs. Their unique alt-rock sound shows the band’s successful attempt at adapting to the constantly changing music scene while retaining the rock elements that give their music a timeless quality.