Two records in one year is a highly ambitious goal from anyone, but the majority of the songs released on the debut full length from Los Campesinos, Hold On Now Youngster, has been lying around for a few years. Still, the band aimed to keep the pace with their angular jangling pop, releasing We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed, in the last week.
Everything about this band just screams sheer fun. The guitars pummeling your ears as the gang vocals ebb and flow throughout each song, and you find that your hooked immediately. Their flirtation with nonsensical lyrics makes code deciphering something all of us can enjoy. It’s energetic, and they never let up, not for a second.
Trading male and female vocals is always a perfect way to gather fans quickly, be it a band like Comet Gain or a group like Mates of State. The dynamic quality of such songwriting always makes it interesting for any listener, and lets face it, with so many bands putting out decent albums nowadays, it’s hard to find one that perfectly distinguishes itself from the masses. Yet again, Los Campesinos are standing out in the crowd.
A lot of credit gets thrown around for vibrant young bands, chasing the teenage underclass with energy-packed singles. Bands like Ra Ra Riot or Tokyo Police Club most recently come to mind, but Los Campesinos stand above the rest. Their guitars always seem to be combatting one another, as if the war to write a pop song could only be one. Aforementioned vocals dynamics prevail, mixing it up around any corner, just for kicks.
Take title track, “We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed” for instance. It opens up with a killer percussion line powered on by a little synthesizer, just before the rest of the band comes in for the attack. Swelling guitars pulsate, up and down, then make a splash, hinting at the chorus. Throw in a set of gang vocals, and you have a perfectly juvenile song written for adults.
Sure, the band is not breaking newer ground here with this album. In fact, you’ll find that a lot of the sounds appear strikingly similar to previous works put out by the band this year. Still, listening to an album like this reminds you of what fun we can all have if we just let it all loose once in awhile, taking in everything for the sake of fun.