Campell's began by leading a spiky new wave band named Pink Steel, who played in the late seventies Vancouver punk scene, alongside, the Pointed Sticks, the Young Canadians and the Modernettes. Pink Steel put out two singles, one of which is available thanks to the earth-shatteringly wonderful site known as Killed By Death Records.
Next, during the retro-lovin' Og era (see here) of Canadian music he lead the Wardells, a jangly power-pop band with an eternally sunny disposition. The Wardells released two slabs of vinyl and made a series of ultra-low budget videos that belonged to that follow-the-song's-narrative school of video-making that so dominated the eighties.
The Wardells album is now available at Wilfully Obscure!
Then as the nineties got guitar-heavy, Campbell formed pop-punk band the Sweaters. The Sweaters rubbed shoulders with the pre-Dookie pop-punk underground even if, as so-called "older guys" they employed a kinda rock n' roll bar band style. Campells' lengthy history, only served to make their 1991 album, The Pop Thing, stronger, catchier and wittier. Campbell's lyrics, whether celebrating Young Fresh Fellows/Fastbacks' guitarist Kurt Bloch in "Kurt Got Hurt", offering a pep talk in "Don't Let Things Get Ugly" or decrying identity-politics group think in "The Pop Thing" are always a highlight of his work. Like all his best songs , the title track, "The Pop Thing" is a rip-snorting power-pop-punk tune, with kicking backing vocals and a good chunky rhythm.
Download The Pop Thing
Years ago, NoMeansNo's record label, Wrong Records, put out a series of hockey-themed records called Puck Rock (See here). Gracing the first volume from 1992, was The Sweaters, playing the contrarians with a grumpy yet rollicking tune called, "Hockey Sucks."
A fitting song to listen to as the interminable NHL playoffs slowly grind down.
Next: Sweat It Out.