It has been two years since 2009’s inspired album “Romance is Boring”, the one that sets our hearts alight with post-teen angst. So the news that their third LP (“We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed” even though being a similar length to a full album, is cited by the band as an EP) is due out November 14th has ignited a frenzy of excitement. Their bratty brand of punk pop can be compared to many. Oh and the influence list as with all “newish bands” doesn’t half stretch, but you can’t compare any other to the likeness and sound of “Los Campesinos”.
“Romance Is Boring” was a heady mix of an album. Running through tones and emotions, with contrasting keys to vocals. Wherever you thought a track was taking you, it would always transcend into something beautiful and heartfelt. Songs for those who love the fantasy of “Architecture In Helsinki”, just with a touch of abrasiveness.
“Hello Sadness” is an album of growth. These guys have been a close knit band since 2006. Even though having a disparate sound from the off, brimming with energy and equal parts angst, there was still a mature approach from the start, intelligently constructed, messy but tight. So, still in firm grip off their infamous glockenspiel, they approach their “fourth” album with confidence.
Gareth, Toms and Ellen’s voices still maintain an off kilter, slang like stance but evoke conviction. It isn’t quite talking, or singing, or shouting for that matter. They harmonise out of ambiguity to create a layer of lucidity. As if each one was a key, perfectly entwined with the next, still entirely relevant on their own.
There is no denying they have kept a formula on “Hello Sadness”. This isn’t to say they are samey. It is more that they are referencing previous records, or taking another view, they build on a canvas. Something some of the greatest artists do. A certain band for a certain moods right? The Smiths have it, as do The Cure and agree or disagree, so do Los Campesionos. Working on a tapestry, each one similar, but throw in a differing range of ingredients and the result is a complete new entity.
This is evident in all of the new tracks. Distortion has been added to vocals on certain songs, with pace altering much more than it ever has. There is a new immediate change of pace, a short snap of unison, changes in tones, harmonies, distortions, instruments and style, all within thirty seconds. This leads more room for surprise, a trait the band has always had a penchant for but can finally utilise at their will.
Holding a certain cult status, “Los Campesionos” are encroaching on the media world that has finally accepted their sporadic sound. Saying this, we quite like keeping them as a bit of a secret, but if they are willing to sing and shout about it, then so are we.
"Hello Sadness" is available to purchase from November 14th on Wichita Records.