Saturday, August 21, 2010
Los Campesinos! come across as the UK's answer to their Arts & Crafts counterpart Broken Social Scene, with their 8-member cluster of multi-layered, catchy [indie] pop music. Their third album entitled Romance Is Boring sticks to a central theme of, surprise surprise, romance, with the familiar contrast of sad lyrics on upbeat music. The way in which lead singer and principle songwriter Gareth Campesinos! (try and find me their real surnames) exploits the less appealing aspects of love and intimacy is very upfront.
"The title track depicts exactly what its title would suggest. "You're pouting in your sleep, I'm waking still yawning; We're proving to each other that romance is boring". The resentment and frustration that recurs throughout the record becomes more prominent in 'We've Got Your Back', "And so fucking on, and so fucking forth; We've got your back, whatever that's worth". As the record progresses it becomes more confronting and explicit in its content. 'Straight in at 101' describes love seen from a frightened first-person perspective, "You pull your dress over your face, and I stare down towards my chest; Chastise both our greasy hair, wonder whose gut is the softest", while 'A Heart Rash...' describes love seen from a jealous onlooker watching two friends fall for each other, "The promised they'd be best of friends from now until forever; But both were far too needy not to fall for the other" "Her body barely visible, as bleach white as the bedsheets; As stiff as starched, only perceptible as her middle was still branded" "Walk out onto your front lawn and face into the rain; Shout into the wind this'll never be the same." The album closer, 'Coda', is somewhat of a submission and a way of letting go. The last lines "the first time, the last time, all the times i would've liked there to have been; I can't believe i chose the mountains every time you chose the sea..." Tells of someone who regrets the decisions they made towards someone they care about. It's the stage of acceptance that comes after regret and bitterness, which seem to be some recurring themes themes the record. Romance Is Boring can be seen as a concept album, telling one story after another while leaving room for reflection at the end; "I fall to my knees, my piss-soaked jeans; The first time, the last time, all the times in-between". It's an album of uncertainty, regret and misunderstanding.
All's Well That Ends is a 4-track EP containing alternate versions of 'Romance Is Boring', 'A Heart Rush...', 'Straight In At 101' and 'In Medias Res'. These different versions are more mellow and fitting to the mood of the lyrics. If you liked Romance Is Boring then give this a listen because it contrasts nicely and has an epilogue effect to it.
Romance Is Boring
All's Well That Ends