By Jim Schutze
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Besides the lack of profanity, "They All Say" is also notable for being a poignant tale of a loser trying to make inroads with a girl out of his league. No longer content with chasing the ghost of Joey Ramone, Campagna is finally getting comfortable pursuing the darker and more interesting muses of Johnny Cash and Nick Cave.
"I am definitely getting more diverse," he admits. "I'm getting to a place where I like to push the limits."
Last year, Campagna released his first solo album, Frankie 45 and Ben Martin, a primarily acoustic affair that showed a hitherto unknown side of the artist, a chance to let the man—not the teenage boy hidden under a stack of amplifiers—address his audience.
"I wanted to keep all the passionate, super-fast material for Spector 45 and save some of the slower stuff for solo efforts," he says.
Thankfully, though, with Pist 'n' Broke, the slower stuff has started making its way into the band's repertoire. Truer to the punk spirit Campagna so arduously admires, both "They All Say" and "Fucked Up Over You" point the way to a place where substance triumphs over volume, where cliché is relegated to teenage whims about having to kick ass and take names.
The latter only leads to trouble, Campagna's starting to learn.
"I'm tired of getting arrested for traffic warrants," he says. "I want to be left alone to write my music."