Los Campesinos is hit or miss on Romance is Boring

I’ll be entirely honest: prior to the announcement that Los Campesinos!‘ newest, Romance is Boring, was coming out, I had barely listened to one or two songs by the band. I had an overall idea of their sound, but just kind of dismissed them for whatever reason. But then they offered up the new track “The Sea is a Good Place to Think of the Future” and I was so on board. The song never got too crowded even with the band’s myriad instruments, letting the string work shine. When the vocal yells came around (which isn’t uncommon for the band), they heightened the brutal intensity of the track.

I listened to that song over and over and over. Unfortunately, no song on Romance is Boring quite eclipses it; on the the flip side, though, a good number of them come really close.

While “The Sea is a Good Place to Think of the Future” may be one of the few explicitly depressing songs, the poppier romps generally work pretty well too. Single “There are Listed Buildings” is unfairly catchy with its “ba-ba”s and low brass, and the title track next in line has a similarly memorable and bombastic chorus.

One thing about the band that may be an acquired taste is its lyrics, which are, to say the least, literal. Sometimes they’re fine, as on the aforementioned “The Sea is a Good Place to Think of the Future,” but when we hear the lines “I think we need more post-coital / And less post-rock / Feels like the buildup takes forever but you never get me off” on “Straight in at 101,” it’s a bit too much — it’s so overtly silly that it becomes kind of dumb.

But hey, at least that song is memorable. At fifteen songs (granted, less than 50 minutes, but still), Romance is Boring tends to bleed together at points, especially towards the album’s end where it all becomes something of a mishmash of loud noise and yelps (unless you really, really listen close). It’s too bad, because the album’s good songs are really great. I’ll be listening to about four or five of these guys through the next few months, at least. The rest of them, though? Pass.

Los Campesinos! – “The Sea is a Good Place to Think of the Future” [MP3]

Los Campesinos! – “There are Listed Buildings” [MP3]

Purchase Romance is Boring here

3 comments to Los Campesinos is hit or miss on Romance is Boring

  • wow. you just reminded me of these people. i have to admit that i hadn’t heard much aside from a single a friend sent me from the UK on a mixed tape a few years back “we throw parties, you throw knives,” which one has to love for the track title alone. perhaps the new stuff will grow on me. i will revisit them. thx.

  • i agree. there are moments on this LP that made me want to take them somewhere dark & slap the band stupid for ruining them with the remainder, which is frankly juvenile, unsophisticated dirgy junk.

    I think one problem lies in the fact there are far too many people in the band &, from day one, they weren’t exactly stellar musicians; they got by on their wonky charm & tendency to shout or whine at you (rather than sing) & end most things in a crescendo of everything they could lay their hands on (replacing the usual tactic of being able to write in song structure).

    They hit lucky with a few earlier songs, but the glaring fact is, now we’re on album 3, they are pretty much a one trick pony with that awful 6th form (i.e. self-appointed teenage intellectual) habit of pretentious/portentous overly long/unnecessarily wordy titles that appeal to the demograph of their age group (& younger) while leaving most seasoned music appreciators behind.

    whaat Reply:

    I’m a huge huge fan of these guys, but I can totally see your perspective. Lol, you totally summed it up, but though it may be immature angsty pop, call me crazy, but I love them for that sound.