Tuesday, February 2

Los Campesinos! - 'Romance Is Boring'

. Tuesday, February 2

To fully appreciate ‘Romance Is Boring’ you have to take a step back into Los Campesinos history. Revisit the first album 'Hold On Now Youngster' and it’s dizzy sense of optimism, an album with a spring in its step and a hand written list of points to prove. Fast forward to late 2009 and the band release ‘The Sea Is A Good Place To Think Of The Future’ as a sneak preview ahead of their second album proper ‘Romance Is Boring’. Dark, introspective and swaying into morose territory it’s a song dealing with life’s difficulties (in this case anorexia) and marrying them to complex melodies and structures. If their debut was a sugar rush of teenage lust and a who’s who of indier than thou influences then present day Los Campesinos have hit a wall, crashing to the floor with low blood sugar.

From dark places come great things however and ‘Romance Is Boring’ is the sound of triumph over adversity and chest beating honesty tackling the trials and tribulations of youth head on and coming out victorious. Singer Gareth is the cornerstone around which everything hangs. His lyrics are not so much an open diary but rather like the listener has hacked into the deepest recesses of his mind. Nothing is held back, from the metaphorical workings of his heart to the biological workings of his underpants.

It is this honesty that will divide listeners of ‘Romance Is Boring’ and Los Campesinos in general. Calling them twee is beyond redundant these days but as time and history progress LC! are developing into a band willing to indulge and utterly refusing to pander to anyone or compromise in the slightest. This has led to a fifteen-track album that harnesses a range of influences from distorted punk (‘Plan A’) to wistful, string laden balladeering (‘Who Fell Asleep In’). These are extremes though, the crux of ‘Romance Is Boring’ lies in the emotionally charged rock songs which beat faster than the protagonists heart as he throws himself into yet another romantic tryst bound to inspire a defeated middle eight soliloquy.

It’s this which define Los Campesinos and on ‘Romance Is Boring’ the band have made an album which provides their greatest moments. From the celebratory and rousing horns on ‘Letters From Me To Charlotte’ and ‘In Media Res’ to the gang vocals which ring out from ‘We’ve Got Your Back’ have never sounded so united, so close and ready to fight. ‘Straight In At 101’ sums it up best with the refrain, “Some people give themselves to religion, some people give themselves to a cause, some people give themselves to a lover, I have to give myself to girls”. No matter what life throws at them this is a band that live for lingering glances, resting in the nooks and cranny’s of misery and hope. They don’t think romance is boring, romance is their lifeblood and this record is the proof that Los Campesinos are a band to truly fall head over heels for.


Originally for Gigwise.com


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