Los Campesinos!

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The Sea Is A Good Place To Think Of The Future from Los Campesinos! on Vimeo.

On paper, it might seems as if Welsh group Los Campesinos! simply adopted and tweaked the schtick of Panic! at the Disco. There’s the obvious punctuation similarity (even if Panic! did drop its exclamation point for a year), and the groups share a penchant for giving songs long, odd titles. Case in point: Panic!’s 2005 debut, A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out, has tracks such as “Lying Is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off” and LC!’s debut Hold On Now, Youngster…, released three years later, has songs with titles such as “Don’t Tell Me to Do the Math(S).”

But comparisons between the groups can stop there. LC! doesn’t have the same pop polish that Panic! does. Rather, the seven-member, coed group excels with frenetic tracks that sound like collective catharsis or crazed parties, depending on the subject matter. Some tracks, such as “This Is How You Spell ‘HAHAHA, We Destroyed The Hopes and The Dreams of a Generation of Faux-Romantics,’” blend these two categories. It has a hurried spoken-word solo as well as several members chiming in on the near-malicious, taunting chorus.
This sense of childishness is a common trend for LC!, which has  created a blend of twee and punk, two of the most youthful musical genres. Members tend to play their instruments as loud and fast as they can, and rush to sing-scream over their bandmates. But the dissonance works thanks to some smart, sharp lyrics (the narrator of “Death to Los Campesinos!” is “broken down like a war economy,” for example) that keep the group from sounding  immature.

The band’s second album, We Are Beautiful We Are Doomed, which was released just a few months after its debut, has all these same elements, but an overall darker tone, presumably paving the way for its upcoming album (the details of which are still fuzzy). If its first single, “The Sea Is a Good Place to Think of the Future,” is any indication, the group has spent the past year doing some considerable growing up, as the song features some of the band’s most somber, reflective lyrics and music to date. Despite this, there are still glimpses of the frantic energy seen on previous albums, showing that although LC! may be growing up, it isn’t outgrowing the excellent elements that have defined the group since day one.

By Executive Editor Ani Vrabel

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