Los Campesinos! – No Blues Los Campesinos! – No Blues

Los Campesinos! - No Blues (2013)

Los Campesinos! – No Blues (2013)

I wonder if Los Campesinos! misses Los Campesinos! as much as I miss Los Campesinos! I mean, they must. The Welsh sextet are nothing if not devout sentimentalists (even if much of their sentiment is delivered in bitter tongue-twisters and self-effacing glockenspiel lilts) so they must feel some of the pang chewing at my rotten black heartstrings as I’ve listened to the band digress from the big-throated shout and glory in the face of soul destroying love and torrid underpinnings of an adequate existence that marked their early endeavors as high pointed hopes in the humdrum smoke of millennial rock and roll to the melancholic machine that’s glumly spit their last three records (including their most recent, No Blues) out with an almost cunning disinterest and all but total disregard for delight or even impact.

However, I’m not so certain I can say that No Blues is anything like a total disappointment. Yes, I’d hoped that the title would serve as evidence that the stale brooding of Romance Is Boring and Hello Sadness had gone the good ghost and that the squirrely angst and unapologetic fun of Hold On Now, Youngster and We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed were due to rush, smirking back into the LC! vogue but no. Not at all.

No Blues is a ponderous affair. A grey light at tea time. At its best, it’s sufficiently sullen with a few awkward upswings (“Avocado, Baby”? Really?) though there are more than enough dips into feeble wit of adolescence and jizz-stained diary polemics to make me wonder if the band’s initial output was the true anomaly in their oeuvre and that, at the heart of their vision there was nothing better than a weak-wristed, Kid Dynamite apologist sniffing cognac in the corner bar as the girl of his dreams danced circles with the prom queen while her husband and his white hats turned corporate titans laugh and laugh and laugh.

Which, really, would have been fine I guess. That’s some serious Tom Waits shit right there but Los Campesinos! lack the gristle to deliver a sufficient salvo to the dirty glamour of such perfectly perfidious pain.

Still No Blues is a distinctly enjoyable listen if only for those weak nights when the smoggy memories of teenage suicide shifts seem like a happy escape from the shit shit SHIT shittiness of playing adult and the only peace a man can find is in the ready (steady) woe of romantic derision.

So, Sundays.

No Blues Tracklist:
01 – For Flotsam
02 – What Death Leaves Behind
03 – A Portrait Of The Trequartista As A Young Man
04 – Cemetery Gaits
05 – Glue Me
06 – As LucerneThe Low
07 – Avocado, Baby
08 – Let It Spill
09 – The Time Before The Last Time
10 – Selling Rope (Swan Dive To Estuary)

Los Campesinos! - No Blues, reviewed by Charles on 2013-10-29T03:21:39-07:00 rating 2.8 out of 5

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