Campaign - It Likes to Party (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


It Likes to Party (2010)


Titling your EP It Likes to Party seems like part of an elaborate viral ad campaign you might see on the morning commute that will pique interest and spur a rat-like ingenuity to figure out what in fact "it" is and if in fact "it" likes to party like so many Hawaiian shirts. If the "it" in question is the band Campaign themselves, I must say they are a rather cheeky bunch, because only a cursory glance at the lyric sheet to It Likes to Party and you start to see that partying seems to be the last thing on their mind. Does a lack of parties mean this is a dull album, however? Not in the slightest.

The band's one-sheet makes references to Hot Water Music, Jawbreaker and Dag Nasty, and as you'd expect melodic punk rock with gruff vocals, it is pretty much what you get here. What is great about the band and what "Rock Bottom Summer" shows, however, is an extremely studied distillation of influences. As the first verse starts off you get some rock 'n' rolling post-hardcore à la Epitaph-era Hot Water Music, but you get the kind of chunky rhythms creeping in that reek of Midwest pop-punk and it is all topped off with some delay effects that show a debt to 2000s post-rock. Seems like a lot going on, but it never once gets in the way of the shout-along ability of the words. It serves as a microcosm of the rest of the EP, because while, say, "Wormwood" feels like a dead ringer for a B-side from the last Dead Mechanical album and "Best Luck" really works on atmospherics and effects, none of the songs fully embrace all of Campaign's influences like "Rock Bottom Summer" does.

Campaign is a band really taking common punk rock sounds and finding the points in which they intersect and exploiting those intersections for some mighty fine music with thoughtful lyrics. Don't sleep on It Likes to Party, or sooner--hopefully rather than later--Campaign will have an LP out that all your friends and lovers will be pumping out on their ghetto blasters, and you'll want to be able to say "I listened to them when they were just the twinkle in the eye of some viral marketer" or some such.