Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Revolution Evolution rock

It's amazing to think that, with Sick Scenes, Los Campesinos! are now six albums into their career. Not so much because they never seemed like a band that would have much longevity, but because I had the privilege of being there pretty much when it all started. So this Pitchfork article, in which they rate and rank their first five LPs, is an engaging read, tracing their musical and lyrical trajectory from the effervescent juvenilia of 2008's Hold On Now, Youngster to 2013's No Blues, recorded as their relationship with their label was deteriorating.

It surprised me to see Hello Sadness (rather than Hold On Now, Youngster) ranked lowest - Tom suggests it's "a bit beige" in places, while Gareth thinks it's too much of a break-up album and that it would have been better with the inclusion of some of the tracks they recorded at the same time but left off. However, I was even more surprised to see Romance Is Boring in the top spot - of the five, it's the one I've never really got on with. Tom describes it as "a maximalist mess" consisting of "these really aggressive songs in strange time signatures". This definitely calls for a revisit and a reappraisal...

The article also includes commentary on their excellent 2008 Shred Yr Face tour with No Age and Times New Viking, Gareth singing "like a version of myself rather than myself" on Hold On Now, Youngster and the experience of having Death Cab For Cutie's Ben Gibbard backstage helping himself to all their coconut water "before coconut water was even a thing".

As for Sick Scenes, I haven't given it much time yet but it seems like a solid follow-up to No Blues, which for me remains their career high to date. In the absence of any more considered thoughts of my own, here's The Album Wall's superb review.

(Thanks to Ian for the Pitchfork link.)

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