Being a massive fan of LC! since hearing You! Me! Dancing!, with every album I've waited for it's release without ever a fear of disappointment, and with Romance Is Boring they have yet to let me down. Once again, they have made an amazing album, much deeper lyrically and musically even than previous effort We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed, where the first steps away from their initially charmingly "twee" sound were taken, the lyrics darkening along with the music. Yet in maturing so they have done the seemingly impossible and not lost their charm. Gareth Campesinos! lyrics are as idiosyncratic as ever, and the way they are written in the booklet they read more like short novella's, a mixture of Morissey's bleak wit and Springsteen's wordiness. Song subjects range from talking an anorexic friend out of their "Taken too far" diet to doing very un-Christian things within sight of a church, yet you never feel alienated by the deeply personal lyrics. You'll even find yourself singing along to the most un-singalong lyrics if you don't catch yourself in time, you get pulled in so much by their honesty. Musically now more bombastic in sound, standout track The Sea Is A Good Place To Think Of The Future is devastatingly beautiful, sounding like a british Arcade Fire track in its epicness. Lead single Romance Is Boring is more of a straight up rock song than they have written perviously and easily the most pop song on the record. They even get experimental on some songs, with Plan A sounding more like Rolo Tomassi as they step up the aggro and tempo for an absolute belter of a song. Despite the variety, the album is incredibly consistent, and you will likely not find your hand straying to the Next Track button on your player. Overall, fans of the band will not be disappointed as LC! continue to outdo themselves. With the tweeness out and the maturity in, anyone who unfairly dismissed their earlier works should give them another go, and newbies will easily be drawn into the cynically romantic world of Los Campesinos!
The Cardiff band have always been a favourite with the fanzines, but their third coming seems to have provoked a muted response this time round; a raised eyebrow replacing wide-eyed enthusiasm. If I were a betting man, I'd suggest this was because they're still trading in the same currency that won their debut a coterie of admires - Romance is Boring duly offers up the usual painful mix of shy, rambling emo platitudes and a propensity for being extroverted about their social and emotional impotence, backed with familiarly punky indie-pop. Again, the hits typically revolve around the more breathless beats (`There Are Listed Buildings'), while the misses (`Straight in at 101') afford singer Gareth the kind of excruciating airspace that his grating vocals certainly don't deserve. Par for the course, then.
Having seen LC! Many times and listened to their first two records non-stop when they first came out, I was expecting to love this one straight away, however, this was not the case, I found it... Well... Boring. However, after about 3 listens to it I realised the genius in the lyrics and technicality of the music and I got over my pre-conceptions of the change in tone and just went with it. Brilliant album. Buy it!