The Los Campesinos! listening club: Sleeper hits for weeping dipshits! A Los Campesinos Christmas starts at post 474!

WAB, WAD was when I really got on the LC! train. I never bought HONY! but I got the whole DVD case version of WABWAD with all the postcards and posters and stuff on preorder.
Also, just checking: WABWAD is pronounced canonically as WabWad, yeah?

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I think I’ve only ever heard Gareth call it WabWad, so that’s canon I guess

fuck, I just remembered the WAB, WAD badges it came with too, wore them for ages - one said WAB, the other said WAD

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99% sure I remember just after the release, someone on DiS asking, in all sincerity, what WAB and WAD on the badges stood for. Good times.

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Yep, had them on my guitar strap for years. Must dig the box out, think I left it in my parents’ house. There’s something in the booklet by Jason Lytle from Grandaddy isn’t there?

This post paid for by PROF$.

Wild how they managed to release 2 albums as wildly different as their first 2 albums in one year.

IIRC, WABWAD was originally supposed to be B-sides for Romance is Boring but they liked all the songs too much.

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I know where my box is but I’d need to fish it out from a box full of DVDs. I was thinking I’ve been meaning to watch that documentary for nigh on 15 years now

Relistening to this is reaffirming my stance that it’s baffling how you don’t really see Black Country, New Road get compared to LC

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i hope my heart goes first i hope my heart goes first

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After becoming besotted over the initial EP and singles - it really did feel like someone had hand-crafted a ridiculously niche collation of sounds and feelings into a stupid band that only I could love this much - I was a bit disappointed by HONY.

But when WAB WAD came out, that was more like it. A bit more muscular, even more petty and references to Tony Cascarino. I still go back to this record regularly, and hopefully always will.

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Yes! Track X especially

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Big fan of this record, although it does drag a bit on the second half for me. The title track is one of the best things they’ve ever done though and imo this album acts as a really good bridge between what they were and what they became, especially melodically. Lyrics on this are great too, all pass-agg pettiness and spite and specificity and fun references. Feel like Gareth’s finding his register a bit more here too and exploring what more he can add with his vocals other than utter chaos.

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Wabwad

This was where I got into the band, I bought this on a bit of a whim. All I really knew about them at that time was they’d been hyped up and, in comparison to a lot of the big British indie bands that were all over the place, LC! were very influenced by the stuff I was really getting into in my late teens (Pavement, Sonic Youth, early Modest Mouse, Broken Social Scene, as well as twee - I really got into Belle & Sebastian and Camera Obscura at this point and was working backwards towards a lot of the C86 stuff c/o Last FM).

Tbh I didn’t like it that much on first listen - the vocals took me a while to really adjust to, and I wasn’t accustomed to that sort of delivery being at that time more into the “slacker” side of American indie than the more emo stuff. The first bits to click though were…

‘Ways to Make It Through the Wall’

  • Incredible opener, that final “painted your face, painted the wall” breakdown gives me actual chills almost every time.

‘Between an Erupting Earth and an Exploding Sky’

  • I like synths, I liked synths then. They’re nice.

‘You’ll Need Those Fingers for Crossing’

  • Just fucking beautiful. Even though I wasn’t bowled over by the album as a whole first time, I was bowled over by this and this was really what had me coming back to it.

But yeah, incredible album. I can’t believe how much of a step up it is from the debut – everything on HONY kind of bleeds in on each other, but each track on this just feels like such an impassioned singular statement.

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Also in my parents’ house so can neither confirm or deny the Grandaddy thing - sounds about right tho

I think I’ve still got the box etc in my house so will have a look later.

I remember it being the case as well so I’m pretty sure it’s true

I think, to continue this tangent about their merch and physical memorabilia, one thing they’ve consistently done well since early on is to make stuff you want to wear and has always had some thought put into it - don’t think I’ve ever seen a straight up LOS CAMPESINOS! t shirt for example. All their designs have niche references to their lyrics or whatever that signify who the band is/what they’re about to enough of an extent that people who like them already ‘get’ it, which is a horrificially pretentious way of putting it but for socially awkward 15 year old me wearing WABWAD badges or a DOOMED t shirt was way more preferable than having what for me was a very personal interest thing on full display for anyone to see and comment on, cos at that age if someone (especially someone popular than you) sees you wearing a band t shirt and says LOL X BAND ARE SHIT, it can really destroy you and feel like a personal attack in its own way. Having secret coded messages into the band merch has been a really nice way of mitigating that for me.

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Sort of a weird one for me - this through to Hello Sadness is probably the peak of the band for me, when they’re firing on all cylinders send just knocking out material at such pace.

But it’s also when they started to get away from me a bit - I think in part because in those early days they were playing London every few months and I went to pretty much all of them. They slowed that pace down after this, and then midway through this period I moved away from London anyway. So they went from being a regular presence in my life to not.

I can’t remember if I actually saw them touring this - I definitely missed this headline show - DiS presents: the Shred Yr Face tour! Get all the info here / In Depth // Drowned In Sound - I think I just found Times New Viking deeply irritating so just didn’t go. Doofus.

But - it was incredibly exciting when this just came out of nowhere, and it really is just an absolute leap from the first one in almost every way. The music more urgent and the songs are way tighter. The lyrics are darker and funnier. They’ve basically shorn off all the more annoying bits of the first record. It’s basically the template for everything they’ve done since.

(Also I understand why this happens but it’s a really good example of why bands shouldn’t be forced to sit on material for 9-12 months. Recorded in June, released in October. It’s about as relevant as an album can be.)

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fuck me this is still so good

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I’ve owned so many LC! t shirts, jumpers, hoodies, hats, badges. You’re totally right they’ve got amazing merch game.