Review Summary: i hope that i die (woo!)
Do you ever find a band that you feel like you should absolutely despise, but, for some inexplicable reason, you adore them? That’s how I would describe my feelings towards Camping in Alaska.
Please Be Nice shouldn’t work. It doesn’t have very good vocals or lyrics. The guitar, bass, and drums fit perfectly into the genres blueprint and never try to be anything unique or special (aside from the use of a double bass pedal). The production is completely average. There are silly track names and bits extracted from popular television shows. Please Be Nice, after an impressively average and uninteresting introduction with “insight” and a (seemingly) boring and generic follow-up track “why can’t i be snowing?,” is looking up to be yet another forgettable album in the emo revival scene.
It’s impossibly difficult to describe why this album works, but the best example I can give comes halfway through the second track. It begins with off-beat guitar riffs and out of tune amateur screaming. As it crawls along and the lead singer belts out “fuck this, fuck everything, no one even cares,” something clicks, and from there to the end, the record turns into a wonderful experience.
Maybe it’s the hilariously off-tempo riffs of “there’s no ‘brian’ in team” or the two-minutes-too-long “justin farmer.” Perhaps it’s the stupidly easy and uninteresting riff that carries “c u in da ballpit” or the uninspired and downright awful lyrics of, well, really any track here to be completely honest. There is no comprehensible statement to explain why this album works in such a majestic way, but I’ll try my best.
While it is entirely possible that this entire album is just satire, I believe that to not be the case. This record plays like a group of friends that don’t give a single damn about making something good. They don’t have a care in the world about whether it sounds too gritty or too dirty, whether the lyrics are bad or the riffs are lame. They’re just here to make music for the sake of making music, and there’s something amazing about that. Please Be Nice is one of the most genuine albums that exists in the emo scene, and I have absolutely no shame in saying that. The technical aspects might not be on-par with some of the other bands and the songwriting might not be as unique as some of the other bands, but it doesn’t matter. Please Be Nice is an awful, terrible, sloppy, hard-to-listen-to work of art. Sue me.