Los Campesinos! - Hello Sadness
- By Ismail Mulla -
- Nov 10, 2011
Seven piece indie pop band Los Campesinos! have been a prevalent part of the scene over the past six years. ‘Hello Sadness’ is their fourth album and is the follow up to 2010’s ‘Romance Is Boring’.
The album starts off with the single ‘By Your Hand’. It’s a sprightly number, with several layers of texture. Nothing trailblazing just hearty indie pop with nice use of the electronics to ensure the song ebbs and flows and doesn’t end up a runaway indie train.
‘Songs About Your Girlfriend’ once again has that guitar driven pop sound, but Los Campesinos! are shrewd enough to add a few layers to ensure it doesn’t end up on the ever growing indie landfill.
Vocally there isn’t anything new, a whole host of bands such as the Pigeon Detectives have been there done that over the past five or so years. It is only natural that ‘Los Campesinos!’ also carry that sound as they have played a part in the continuation of the indie revival in the noughties. Lyrically the album features the standard fare about relationships. No one is expecting revolutionary song writing ala The Clash, but it does get repetitive.
‘Hello Sadness’ is the title track and once again it is guitar heavy. But in the sea of guitars there is intricate layering of instrumentation, the only problem is that you have to listen very diligently to appreciate it.
The risk that a lot of bands run is sounding the same throughout the album, any artist worth their salt would want to flex their array of skills without sounding confused. The songs on ‘Hello Sadness’ do start to sound a bit too familiar. Like the white plimsolls that you see on indie boys and girl everywhere you go.
‘Every Defeat Is A Divorce’ starts off with a different pace and tone. Some of the other instrumentation is given more of a chance to breathe and not strangled by the guitars. They’re still a prevalent feature and the band struggles to restrain itself, sometimes less is better and that should have been the case here.
Nearly every song on the album starts off with a promise that isn’t fulfilled, aside for ‘Hate For The Island’, which draws vocally on Just Jack. The number is a pleasant toned down affair without the waves of guitars and there is a sense of atmosphere.
The album trundles along, every so often threatening to offer something different. It isn’t a bad listen as an album. But the band is capable of offering so much more than just the flashes of brilliance seen on ‘Hello Sadness’. They seem to find solace on the more measured numbers and this album could have done with more of them on the album.
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