The following is a contribution from Brian Pauley, who played drums with many Charleston-area bands in the '90s including Dirt Bear, The Povos and Shindig. Brian remains one of my favorite players from the West Virginia music scene, and I've always had a endless respect for him and his opinion. Here he shares with us his his thoughts on the Charleston band Camel Beast:
I started playing drums when I was in junior high. Bobby Hughes, who was the drummer for a local thrash metal band called Pale Hecate lived around the corner from me. Through Bobby, I became aware of all the local shows going on within the Kanawha Valley. I was introduced to other bands. It was clear that the thrash metal sound was dominating the scene. Besides Pale Hecate, there was Grey Malcomb, Diabolis, Arch Angel, and a ton of other bands trying to put their stamp on the local thrash scene. My band (Last Rites) included.I'd say it was probably 1989... there was a show going on at the American Legion Building (the same venue we would all play years later). On the bill was Diabolis, Outface (who's singer went on to sing for Sepultura), F.U.C.T., and Camel Beast. As soon as as I heard Lee Lawler's voice, I was hooked. Camel Beast had a metal, punk, grunge (before it was cool), blues sound about them that just made them stand out. They were just different than any other band around. They just had this punk attitude about them that I instantly connected with. I was pretty narrow minded with my taste in music at that age, but Camel Beast just completely changed how I heard music. That sounds corny as hell, but it's true.Shows were super scarce in those days. About a year or so later, I saw Camel Beast again. Again, they were amazing. I bought up the demos, but over time, lost them. If you listen... you can hear how this band had an influence on my bands (The Provos and Dirt Bear) during the early years.It's a catch 22 with this band. Had they been around just a couple of years later, they would have been around during the Common Ground years and the Pit years, and everyone would have gotten to experience them. However, had they not been around when they were, the scene may not have gone in the direction it did. I'm serious when I say that this band pointed the scene in the direction that it went.I can't do this band justice and maybe everyone else who listens to these songs might not feel the way that we all did back then... but this band is legendary to those of us who were a part of the scene during those super early years.In my short conversation with Geof (I asked for permission to share these songs with everyone), I got the impression that these guys might not know how much of an impact they had on people that would later play a huge role in the Charleston music scene.
Thanks to Brian for sending in these rare Camel Beast demos.
Artist: Camel Beast
Album: United By Hatred / Camel Beast / Lost In Bumphuc, Egypt
Year: 1988 / 1989 / 1990
For Fans Of: Jane's Addiction, Fugazi, Queensryche
DOWNLOAD: Camel Beast - United By Hatred / Camel Beast / Lost In Bumphuc, Egypt