Straight out of Cardiff with a shared predilection for Super Furry Animals and West Bromwich Albion soccer star Jason Koumas, Los Campesinos!’ American debut protrudes like a glowing, smiling, alien thumb. These are six blasts of sickly, sweaty pop that tread the fine line between aching poignancy and gratuitous sherbet addiction. The opening “We Throw Parties, You Throw Knives” is revelatory. It’s as if I’m hearing Tilly and the Wall weld Human Traffic knowledge onto a “Debaser” sized anthem. There’s an unnerving breadth of lyrical insight. My personal favourite is “the music was ok but the fresh air was better.” Somehow the song includes a Belle and Sebastian reminiscent twee, White Album warmth and Helen Love pace, emerging with a heartbroken grin. I’m stumped and in love.
“It Started with a Mixx” succeeds in “trying to find the perfect match between pretentious and pop,” touching on Park Ave. and the S-1 Committee. The contrast between Gareth and Aleks’ vocals works really well. “Don’t Tell Me to Do the Math(s)” reaches Help She Cant Swim and Noel Fielding levels of bounce, balanced out by the kind of melancholy Morrissey’s teddy bear was probably left with. Crowds will jump in fields amidst descriptions of “second hand book shop employees reading the inscriptions that were never meant for their eyes.” “Frontwards” has a stadium pop sound that evokes Hefner and Jenny Lewis, simultaneously. “You! Me! Dancing!” chugs like an Is This It outtake with Boy Least Likely To bells on, resulting in a perfect six minute single. It makes me think of uniformly good things. The primitive thirty seconds of “Clunk-Rewind-Clunk-Play-Clunk” will leave you annoyed that there aren’t half a dozen more tracks to follow.
Phew! That was quick. Sticking Fingers into Sockets deserves immense love. Los Campesinos! are a fourteen legged imperfect hit factory that take the best aspects of multiple indie-pop bands into insanely catchy territory. This is possibly the best E.P of 2007. Interesting place this…I think I’ll stick around for a while.
Help She Can’t Swim – Fashionista Super Dance Troupe
The Boy Least Likely To – The Best Party Ever!
Hefner – Boxing Hefner