A cursory listen to The Black Album will reveal two things – Campaign like to party – and I mean really party as in total uninhibited craziness that leaves you with the mother of all headaches and finding yourself inexplicably covered in blood. Secondly, Campaign want YOU – the listener, to be sucking vodka shots out of belly-buttons and committing yourself unquestionably to a whole manner of crazy-ass shit. With tracks such as ‘Breaking Bones’ and ‘Out Of Control’, Campaign’s breakneck punk flurries render themselves as the perfect Jackass soundtrack to a pre-sober Steve-O doing something particularly gnarly probably involving his genitals or Bam Margera kicking himself repeatedly in the head just for the heck of it. This is good-time punk, free from the accusatory nature of more politicized strains of the genre and whose aims are held down to a simple humility- to spread their beer-soaked vibes and preach the gospel of raucous festivity. Campaign’s hardcore zeal is provided by the less-politically inclined rage of party-centric hardcore of the likes of Black Flag’s Six-pack and TV Party era celebrations of nights spent getting hammered. Their overall sound therefore, is often strikingly similar to The Bronx- blistering punk n’ roll that’s often downright gritty and depraved but holds onto anthemic ambitions which manifest in the crowd-friendly “woah-oh” choruses. ‘Breaking Bones’ is a relentless piece of speed-punk where the band manages to cram two guitar solos into just two minutes whereas ‘Slums’ dispels any over-riding sense of one-dimensionality with some inventive and squalling lead guitar work. ‘Midnight Interrogation’ falls just short of a minute which is probably for the best as the drummer’s traction-engine arms seem to harbour some unsettled beef with the drum kit. In a rare use of subtlety, closer ‘Out Of Control’ comes complete with keyboards that hover in the background yet their effect as atmospheric device is perfectly tangible.
Lasting less than ten minutes, The Black Album is a flurry of punk fury for those in need of a quick and instant fix. Sure, you may be convinced that you’ve heard a few of these riffs before, but the sheer ferocity with which they are delivered eradicates any notion of unoriginality; its gargled howls and partially destroyed drum kit an irrepressible and hugely enjoyable exercise in no-frills party punk.
3.5 out of 5 high fives!