Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Hello Sadness- Los Campesinos! Album Review

WARNING: I really love Los Camp! Like super love.

I'll start this review at the beginning, about 2 months ago when I clicked the pre-order button on . Los Campesinos! are known as a band who really live the DIY ethic many bands claim to have. In the last year alone, they've created their own 'zine (each with a special 7"), done a free London show and also the AMAZING pre-order package Hello Sadness was sold with. I received this album in the post 2 weeks before it's official release, with a extra DVD, demo's CD and t-shirt, all for £20. I was excited to say the least. And all this before actually hearing the album! And what an album it is.

Me with my pre-order package.
I was well excited
Realistically, Los Campesinos! should be over their peak at scraping around to try and piece an album together. After losing their violinist, Harriet, after this album and this being their 4th long record (though 3rd album), you'd expect them to be a little down. WRONG! The album, LC!'s 3rd, picks up where Romance is Boring left off, seeping broken hearts, sexual frustration and death. These all sound like they should be a Fall Out Boy album, but LC! make them seem a lot more believable, and a lot less whiney. Gareth's lyrics are as personal and as confusing as ever, but some of his best. He's stopped worrying about putting the longest word he can in, and get's straight to the point. Well kinda. He continues his obsession with bodies and body parts, especially chests, on all songs, especially "The Blackbird, The Dark Slope", a song about being eaten by a blackbird. Phallic descriptions also feature  ("I draw a dick in the frost for every girl who wouldn't fuck me") so no change there. The best of this is "Baby I Got The Death Rattle" a song about sexual frustration and rejection culminating in the frenzied repetition of the line "Not headstone, but headboard s'where I wanna be mourned." He also carries on his obsession for football with "Every Defeat A Divorce (Three Lions)". The idea of having a song comparing the end of a relationship to every England world cup defeat sounds like a recipe for loutish disaster, but the soaring violins and picked guitar make it one of the more emotional songs. Prize for best song however, has to go to the title track. It just sums up all the things that make LC! so special and is one that really tugs at the ole' heartstrings. It see's Gareth at his lyrical best backed by a sweeping, soaring mix of violin, guitar and drums. It slowly build, bolstered by the vastly improved drumming, to a climatic end which leaves Gareth's voice straining to sing the last refrain. B-e-a-utiful.

The album balances the band at their most punk-like ("By Your Hand", "The Blackbird, The Dark Slope") and most tender ("To Tundra" "Light Leaves, Dark Sees Pt. II") perfectly. This definitely contends for one of their best and shows how much they've grown up and matured. It's really really awesome basically.

Plus I got a cool tee



Click here to stream "Hello Sadness"

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