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

Okay, quick mop up on Romance is Boring

I remember the album more fondly than it actually sounds like now, oddly. Whilst I know I don’t really like the first two anymore and didn’t super click with them at the time, this was the album I broke into them with. Saw them three times touring it - once in Houston with JoFo! - and yeah… It hasn’t aged well, again.

A weird thing was that this was right when I was into music and buying the mp3s on the subscription, and I downloaded Romance is Boring… And it skipped all the short songs, so I had a tight nine track album that was brilliant. It wasn’t until later on that I realised I’d missed loads out.

A similar thing happened to You and Me by the Walkmen.

Okay, so Hello Sadness.

My favourite by them by quite some distance. It soundtracked me moving back to Scotland after a year in Texas and it is so linked to that werid time in my life. I think it is the perfect move away from their earlier stuff, and I thi k that it just flows so well. Beyond a few issues - I have never liked the sound of the snare on the album, it feels like the chain was missed off the bottom and I don’t really like that (really obvious on Songs About Your Girlfriend).

To Tundra is amazing. It captures the feeling of wanting to be happy but being depressed, like being sad while happy, for fleeting moments, so nicely. It is a really strong nostalgic link for me, so not the same for everyone else.

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For me, nostalgically it really (like the others) folds back into being an early 20s student. If I was getting into RiB and WABWAD as a student, the melancholy on this was very intertwined with the looming sense of being a graduate with fuck-all clue

I’ll have to download Whole Damn Body soon. The release of this somehow passed me by completely

I’m quite mixed on this album but wow Hello Sadness is still a perfect track

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NOT HEADSTONE

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The pacing on this album is bonkers.

Comes screaming out of the gate with those first 3 tracks which are really energetic and lively. They’re great. Then it abruptly slows down several gears into 3 tracks that are a bit of a mush. I don’t actively dislike them but they don’t stand out - feels like they’re about to escalate or do something a bit more ‘out-there’ and they stay quite flat. Then Black Bird (which really sticks out amongst tracks 4-10) is fast paced before To Tundra which is maybe the slowest paced on the whole thing?

I do really like the last 4 tracks on this but they’re really hampered by the middle and the way the whole thing is structured.

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Didn’t care for To Tundra before seeing them perform it live. That really elevated it somehow, even though the performance wasn’t particularly different. It might be my favourite slow LC! track.

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I kinda remember it being a bit of an opportunity for people who were a bit annoyed about the changing sound and lineup of the band anyway to pretend they had some kind of legitimate grievance.

I tell you what, the violin sounds really good on this record. Miss that.

Thinking more. Worth looking at their collaborators on this (and RiB) - mainly Jherek Bischoff (who is on both) but also Zac Pennington and Jamie Stewart. This started with them recording WABWAD with John Goodmanson (who had worked with Blonde Redhead, Sleater Kinney, the Blood Brothers) really, but is proper clear from these two records that they wanted to align themselves with that artier, nosier strain of US indie at the time, rather than anything going on in the UK at the time.

Reminds me I need to dig out some Parenthetical Girls records sometime soon…

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I think this was part of why I got interested in LC in the first place. At a point where so much more of my favourite music was American Pitchfork stuff, and a lot of the critically acclaimed British bands were doing nothing for me at the time

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ok, listening again, I much prefer this to RiB

Think I just much prefer morose LC to hyperactive LC

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I posted this in the recent ‘what’s their best song’ thread, but the guitar sound and tones on this from Whole Damn Body are absolutely lovely, one of the nicest things i’ve ever put in my ears. I can’t get enough of it.

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Hello Sadness is a flippin’ masterpiece, innit.

I’ll write more tomorrow when I listen to it properly. So many tiny amazing lyrics.

Between your waterfalls and your landslides, there’s cartography in every scar.

^underrated massive sad banger that one

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In theory, for me it’s more complicated than that cause there’s something about hyper chaotic LC that’s like nothing else but morose LC is so much more consistent imo it sort of balances in that direction

can’t wait until you get to Sick Scenes

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Without dragging this thread too far off, what a morning I’m having!

Safe As Houses has the horrible noisy synths I remember them for. But Entanglements is a bizarre record. It’s got the strained vocals and undercurrent of misery but mainly set to old school Disney-esque orchestration. It’s a bit grating at times but generally works. I applaud the ambition if not always the results.

Find it fascinating that I listened to them a lot - a lot - for a few years and then… not since.

You can definitely hear the influence on these mid Los Camp! records though - if not directly in terms of the music but in how the band pushed their sound to almost breaking at points.

The Whole Damn Body EP is a bit of a nothing isn’t it. She Crows and To The Boneyard are good but the rest just sounds a bit like stuff that could have stayed on the cutting room floor.

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well that’s that then, there’s no way i’m listening to Parenthetical Girls

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yeah i’ve not listened to it much but this is the impression ive got of it, but people fucking love these songs. maybe it’s coz they’re obscurities and people love being indie nerds, maybe once i relisten this week ill become That Guy (prob not, ive got a Man of the People status to maintain)

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i wonder if there’s a good way to put both this weeks records together to make something that is greater than the sum of its parts, like a rearrangement that adds the best tracks from WDB and fixes the weird pacing of HS :thinking: