Musically Bootcamp fuse together other 80’s bands such as The Producers, Life By Night and on occasion The Outfield. My initial reaction to them was that they played in a bombastic pomp style. Deeper inspection suggests that this is not the case.
Written by: gdmonline
ALBUM: Final Drill
LABEL: Retrospect Records
CD INFO: Discogs Info List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Tim Camp (aka Tim Camponeschi) – lead vocals, bass * Bob Fallin – guitars, backing vocals * Frank Grande, Tom Alonzo – keyboards, backing vocals * Howard Zizzi – drums, backing vocals
TRACK LISTING: 01 3 Ring Circus * 02 Shoot The Moon * 03 Let Her Go * 04 Rise Or Fall * 05 Fire In The Hole * 06 This Time * 07 A Womans Touch * 08 Get A Hold Of Yourself * 09 Another Day * 10 I’m A Victim * 11 Boots * 12 Hold On To The Night
Bootcamp were a Baltimore based band that were active between 1979 and 1985. Though a local draw card alongside the likes of Face Dancer, The Shooze (who would eventually become Kix) and The Ravyns, the band were unable to land a major label contract. Bootcamp released three official EP’s in 1979, 1984 and 1985. There was also an unofficial EP which appear to be demo versions of their material, plus a radio station appearance on the Rock 98 Vol 3 LP from 1984.
Upon listening to these guys, musically Bootcamp fuse together other 80’s bands such as The Producers, Life By Night and on occasion The Outfield. My initial reaction to them from a few years ago was that they played in a bombastic pomp style. Deeper inspection suggests that this is not the case.
There are twelve on board this CD. Two from 1979, five from 1984 and four from 1985. That makes eleven, the extra track is one called ‘Boots’. This Retrospect reissue has scrambled the track listing all over the place, but for the purposes of this article, I will assemble the songs in order of their three EPs.
I’m A Victim
Plinky plonk keyboards sets the tone on ‘Im A Victim’. It’s kinda poppy in a new wave/power pop. Definitely a product of the 70’s.
‘Hold On To The Night’ is more of a guitar rocker, in the grin of other hard edged bands of the era. Rail being a good example.
Things really take off on this 5 track EP in regards to an updated sound to pure AOR. The first of which is the keyboard stacked ‘3 Ring Circus’, perhaps one of Bootcamp’s best tracks. ‘There’s a raft of digital effects preceding Another Day’ before those spicy synths strike once more on this AOR rocker.
‘Let Her Go’ applies the brakes initially before launching into a boisterous pop rocker in the style of The Producers. ‘Rise Or Fall’ didn’t quite grab me like the previous three tracks, but it certainly is full of synths as well as some funky bass lines which keeps it interesting. ‘This Time’ bounces off the walls, kinda similar to bands like Urgent and other 80’s outfits of the same melodic persuasion.
Moving on to 1985, Bootcamp have really locked down their poppy brand of AOR with four new tracks.
‘A Woman’s Touch’ definitely has a vocal flavour to The Outfield, especially that super chorus. Another standout track. ‘Shoot The Moon’ is beset with a dazzling array of synth effects before driving hard into dance flavoured pop rock. Check out those synth parps.
Percussive synth patterns pervade ‘Get A Hold Of Yourself’. It’s maintained throughout along with a jangly guitar part. ‘Fire In The Hole’ takes Bootcamp deeper into AOR territory, good use of keys but the drum mix isn’t great.
‘Boots’ is the odd track out, not being part of the three efforts above. This track is in fact a cover of the 1966 hit ‘These Boots Are Made Walking’ by Nancy Sinatra, given a synth update 1980’s style!
Bootcamp actually had more songs available to them other than the ones listed here. A 2007 compilation album called ‘Back To The Shack’ includes several songs not previously released. In the where are they now stakes, only Tim Camp has moved onto new pastures with his jazz oriented outfit Slim Man. Good to finally get Bootcamp into the online halls of GDM.
3 Ring Circus
Let Her Go
A Womans Touch