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Los Campesinos! - The Go-to Band for Pop Perfection,
This review is from: No Blues (Audio CD)
Five albums in and Los Campesinos! remain a source of joyous inspiration, a go-to band for pop perfection. Who can forget the exuberance of one of the greatest British Debut albums of the decade "Hold on now, youngster" and the delightful anarchy of "You? Me! Dancing! Since then some of their more recent albums have been lauded with critical praise but have not really impacted. But with "No blues" the band are back with greater maturity, a fuller sound and songs to match. You would really be foolish to ignore them this time around.
This is not to say that the guiding hand of singer and lyricist Gareth Paisey has dispensed with the ramshackle energy of yore. On the opener the swirling "For Flotsam" the band powers out of the stocks. It kicks off with the excellent opening line "You say you are an old cassette that has gone and spilt its spool/You're far more like a wet cardboard tube on this nightclub toilet floor". Even better is "What death leaves behind" with it huge call and response chorus. "A Portrait of the Trequartista as a Young Man" is proof that the band forte for great song titles remains intact and is a great LC revenge song. The bands brilliant "Cemetery Gaits" is not a Smiths cover but with Gareth's pained vocal it does sound like one of the greatest songs Robert Smith never recorded. Things slow considerably for the sweet chords of "Glue me" and the plaintive "Let it spill" showing that the band can mix their sounds with consummate ease. The single "Avocado Baby" has been rightly described by one critic as the greatest song ever to compare the human heart to the fruit also known as the Alligator Pear. It is stunningly catchy song full of power chords and great lyrics and the place where you must at least download one song from this musical feast.
The big six minute plus closer "Selling Rope (Swan dive to estuary)" sees Paisey as lyrically downbeat as ever but overall "No blues" is by the length of a racetrack the best album these Cardiff wonders have committed to vinyl and fully reminds us why we fell in love with them in the first place.