Personnel: David Lowery (vocals, guitar); Jonathan Segel (guitar, mandolin, violin, organ, background vocals); Greg Lisher (guitar); Victor Krummenacher (baritone guitar); Michael Urbano (drums, percussion); David Barbe, Alex Kroh (percussion).
Audio Mixers: Drew Vandenberg; Camper Van Beethoven.
Recording information: Chase Park Transduction, Athens, GA; Damien Gerard Studios, Sydney, Australia; Electric Studio, Berkeley, CA; Guerrilla Recording, Oakland, CA; Sharkbite Studios, Oakland, CA.
A hastily signed, well-worn postcard from the group's Northern California haunts of Redlands, Santa Cruz, and San Francisco, La Costa Perdida, the eighth studio album from consistently unclassifiable freak-rock pioneers Camper Van Beethoven, plays fast and loose with the band's mythology. Steeped in a hazy patina of Post-Laurel Canyon, ratty boot cut jeans, and barefoot, Pacific Ocean Americana, CVB's first album since 2004's New Roman Times is willfully homespun, rough around the edges, and crackly as a campfire full of pine branches, roaches, junk mail, and empty tall boys. Boasting a well-seasoned crew in David Lowery, Victor Krummenacher, Jonathan Segal, Greg Lisher, Chris Pedersen, and Michael Urbano), La Costa Perdida flies highest when it's high-fiving its fan base. Stand-out cuts like "Peaches in the Summertime" and the Tejano-tinged title cut will please the old guard; the quietly propulsive "Come Down the Coast" and the sweetly psychedelic "Someday Our Love Will Sell Us Out" will appeal to fans of the group's Virgin Records era (Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart, Key Lime Pie), and the gritty "Too High for the Love-In" and the subversively epic "Northern California Girls" should satiate Cracker fanatics, resulting in one of the year's most idiosyncratic releases. Depending on your predilection, it will either bore the crap out of you, pass on by like a rest stop without a vending machine, or reignite the flame for a band that has always celebrated, as Lowery sings on 1989's "All Her Favorite Fruit," the "fecundity of life and love." ~ James Christopher Monger