“Romance Is Boring” The third release from the magnificent seven who were founded in 2006 on the learned grounds of Cardiff Uni- versity comes after albums one and Extend- ed EP two gained deserved critical acclaimed legions of loyal and devoted fans.
By Samson Hill
Much has been said of a shift from their trade mark cheeky adolescent exuberance to a more grown up mature offering. Well gone are the baggy cardigans, the Sylvia Plath poems and in comes the leather jacket and brylcream be cause Los Campensinos have gone from twee-ish indie-pop to rebellious indie-rock.
From album opener “In Media Res”
which saunters in with a welcoming
acoustic guitar a violin and Gareth Campesinos’s brooding lead vo- cals. Then a sudden unannounced winding vortex of grimey noise countered with a heavy syncopated drum beat plaited with xylophone/ glockenspiel before emerging phoenix like, with clashing cymbals and the most triumphant of trum- pets and Gareth posing a pertinent question: ‘If you were given the op- tion of dying painlessly in peace at 45 but with a lover at a side after a full and happy life... Is this some- thing that would interest you, would this interest you at all?’ an emotionally powerful moment and an ambitious statement of in- tent, a perfect in- dication of how much they have grown as a band.
There are Listed Buildings” & “Ro- mance is Boring”
Is pure Los Camp’ as we have come to know and love, both are catchy hook laden dance fests full of fervour, with the for- mer shifting between bleepy electronica and wielding solo guitars with no shortage of biting lyrical wit. Gareth surely has a way with words “We’ve
got your back” being a pro-
found case in point; It begins
THE GUESTLIST NETWORK | APRIL 2010
Album Review: Los Campensinos!
wi th a n
A l e k Campesi- nos scat pinned against swirling atmospherics,
barbed fed back duelling guitar twitches and some pin sharp drum- ming. Cue a belligerent Gareth “I’ve learnt more from the toilet walls than from these words of yours” switch-bladeing keyboard melodies under a smash and crab
chorus, a dream of a breakdown follows before Gareth assuredly ex- claims the closing line; “Sometimes only you’ll know, We’re cementing old friends, dismissing old foes, we’re throwing punches and duck- ing blows” as Harriet Campesinos lush strings ushers him out, a truly stunning track that fully underlines the vast scope of their collective imaginations.
“Plan A” and “I’ve warned you not to make an enemy of me” coming
in at two minutes and two and half minutes respec- t i v el y , p a c k frenzied f er oc - ity and dynamic light in e q u a l me a - s u r e s in-which they pay ho m - age to some of tier fuzz- r o c k heroes, D e er - h o o f , T i m e s New Vi- king and No Age. Aggres- sive and abrasive i n di e - r o c k
spliced with Hyper active gang vo- cals, but crucially for us all in their inimitable Los Camp’ way. The bal-
lad “Who Fell asleep in” is simple in
context and touchingly poignant in its resonance.
“Straight in at 101” See Gareth at
his most hilarious. (read! silliest) La- menting the fact that his disastrous romance has not made the top 100 worst TV romances of all time list. He consoles his fragile ego with the belief that he must be at num-
ber 101. “I Sighed and Sighed and
Sighed” Is a twisted punk-rock de- light with hints of blur without the
smug. “Heat Rash in the Shape of the Show Me State (Letters From Me To Charlotte)” Big band sound-
ing tin drums an organ, muted wah- wah guitar and more triumphant almost evangelical brass are sprin- kled over girl, boy sung choruses for yet another strong track. It’s pure party that will have you smil- ing from ear to ear and dancing all
over the room. “The Sea is a Good Place to think of the future” Har-
riet’s stunning moody violin sets the tone for a panoramic soundscape in-which on one hand is filled with dark emotions of depression, re- pression, escapism and general helplessness that seem to be tee- tering on the edge of something very scary and on the other hand it is full of dreams, hope and love. It’s an awesome spellbinding record of wonder and splendour.
When you have a group with as many moving parts as Los Campesinos! There is a challenge maintaining all the glorious musi- cal dualities but everything seems to fit. It’s aggressive, yet catchy, it’s vicious yet classy, it’s jumpy, yet consistent. Los Campesinos are a great band, a total one off unafraid to share their introspective open heart to a genuine deeper and sometimes brutal truth rejecting accepted notions by depicting life in all its wretched glory. Too often we revel in emotional ambiguity, simply because it is easy to not have to evoke inner feelings. In fact “Romance is Boring” is something of a misnomer it is mystifying, var- ied, invigorating and above all thrill- ing album and proves “romance” is never boring.
Saturday April 10th Traders
Ramon Santana and Xavier play a fu- sion of sounds from across the musical spectrum in a salute to the traders of Spitalfield Market ready for a cosy and intimate spring evening.
Tuesday April 13th Talking Musical Revolution No 9
The Mighty Upsetters
Wednesday April 14th
Brillo (Vinyl Vultures)
Friday April 16th Ghetto Heaven
Introducing our host and spinner on the decks: Paul ‘DJ Stretch’ Taylor starts his Ghetto Heaven night which is based on his radio show (www.iam- colourful.com) A total mixture of Soul, Funk, Motown, Hip-hop and Reggae
Saturday April 17th ‘Happy Birthday Bwoy’
A special one-off to celebrate our 3BM mate Andrew’s birthday. Expect every- thang from Roots Reggae to Ole Skool RnB.
Tuesday April 20th Book Club
Wednesday April 21st Throwing Glasses
It’s time for another accoustic night at 3BM. The last one was great and this time it’s going to be even better! The line up is Patrick Balfe www.myspace. com brummel.music and DJ SJ An- drews (Brickabrac)
Thursday April 22nd Majestic Soul
Saturday April 24th Hipsters Don’t Dance
Another crazy night installed with resi- dents Inie and Karen throwing down ‘Bmore’ Funky Bashment, Hip-hop and Electro. Special Guest: Illanja (As- squake)
Tuesday April 27th Days of Roses
Thursday April 28th Whiskey Burn
A mix of 50’s Ska, Soul, Beebop, Hill- billy, Garage, Rockabilly, Rhythm and Blues and Dirty Rock n Roll.
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