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FS Camels: Goulash

Jun. 21, 2017
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The great lost CD of ’90s Milwaukee alt-rock has finally been released 22 years after it was recorded. Goulash is a good name for the album by FS Camels, a local band that saw fit to cover everyone from The Ramones to J.J. Cale and whose originals spanned the sonic range from full-bore power riffing to spacy moments with an almost psychedelic echo. “Nirvana was our epiphany,” says guitarist Todd Pearson and, yes, like the Seattle grunge titans, FS Camels sheathed memorable melodies in hard metallic tones.

The belated release of Goulash is part of a wave of retrospection on the punk and post-punk eras occurring here in Milwaukee and elsewhere. Vocalist-bassist Mike Endrizzi credits the return of FS Camels to the recent Turner Hall reunion show organized by another local ’90s group, Big Mother Gig. It was the Camels’ first appearance since 1995. “They called and asked us to play and I said ‘No’ and they said, ‘No, really, you’re going to play.’” 

Goulash was recorded in various places, including Madison’s famed Smart Studio and in the Milwaukee studios run by Paul Kneevers and Bill Stace. Whether dreamy in mood or raging on high adrenaline, most tracks have held up well over the decades. FS Camels’ lineup shifted often during the years after its formation in 1987 by Carroll College students. Members from various phases of the band will crowd the stage for their next show at Summerfest. With Endrizzi living in Minneapolis, this might be the last chance to see them for some time.

FS Camels perform 2 p.m., June 29 at Summerfest’s Miller Lite Oasis. 

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