Los Campesinos! – Sick Scenes (Witchita Records)
Genre: Indie Rock
Los Campesinos!, once the darlings of the indie rock, doe-eyed, head-full-of-dreams scene are back after a three year absence and Sick Scenes is likely to captivate and delight fans once again.
After bursting onto the scene with Hold On Now, Youngster that captivated the twee pop market because of its heartening, joyful style the band from Cardiff have worked hard to bring different elements into their sound and their latest album is a testament to that.
But that doesn’t mean the fun has been stripped away from the record as the opening song, Renato Dall Ara (2008) could have been plucked straight from 2008. When this band are at their best they combine cutting lyrics with an uplifting style to create a wonderful, musical oxymoron and that’s exactly what this tune does.
One of the unique strengths of Los Campesinos! is the variety of noise the seven-piece can produce, and Sad Suppers instantly brings a subtly different sound to the album thanks to the distinctly Vampire Weekend-ish keyboard and the softly, softly catchy monkey electric guitar that springs up and fades away like a flash flood.
In many ways, the first third of Sick Scenes is a throwback to the days of 2008 as the band employ the rolling drums and delicate backing vocals that made their debut a success, but the lyrics have evolved and so has the sound.
A Slow Slow Death tackles an extreme heartbreak with sobering lyrics and an instrumentation that slows the whole album down and pivots it 180 degrees from its initial offering while The Fall of Home does little to perk up the melancholy listener.
That doesn’t last long, however, and the band are back to their perky selves, helped along the way with liberal amounts of rolling drums before bringing it back down to earth on Got Stendahl’s, A Litany Heart Swells and Hung Empty.
Los Campesinons! have come a long way since their debut nearly 10 years ago and this album has had many twists and turns as their career. Sick Scenes has been three years in the making. Fans of the band would surely admit that, in this case, patience is a virtue indeed.
RUSHONROCK RATED: 7/10 Worth the wait