Los Campesinos! – No Blues

We don’t deserve a band like Los Campesinos!

For the last seven years now, they have been pouring their heart and soul into making this raucous, exuberant and curiously life affirming racket while we continue to reserve our affections for those less deserving of our love and respect.

Seven years and five wonderful albums later, we continue to feign indifference, blithely ignoring these songs that make the heart swell, these symphonic pop anthems about the things that really matter – love, life, sex, death, it’s all in here. This is most definitely pop music, but there is an eloquence, wit and intelligence inherent in the song-writing that can get lost in the great surge of sound that is Los Campesinos! through and through.
No Blues is their fifth album and is right up there with their very best – and their very best is very good indeed. A song like ‘For Flotsam’ defies us to remain indifferent, to remain steadfast as a chorus of gargantuan proportions threatens to sweep us off our feet. It doesn’t end there; ‘What Death Leaves Behind’ may be the first song in the history of pop to have the word ‘tautology’ in the chorus (they still make it sound insanely catchy), while ‘Avocada, Baby’ is probably the greatest song ever to compare the human heart to the fruit also known as the Alligator Pear.
Gareth Paisey is the principal lyricist and lead vocalist – he delivers these songs with bags of passion, wringing every last ounce of pathos from these words that often seem wrapped up in a kind of faux hurt. Technically, he may not be the strongest vocalist you will ever hear, but hey, we will take passion, wit and eloquence every time over note perfect automatons.
It would be easy to dismiss Los Campesinos! as purveyors of lightweight pop, trading in the kind of standard indie miserabilia that appeals exclusively to lonely bedsit students wallowing in self pity. It would be easy, but it would also be wrong.
Los Campesinos! are the Nick Hornby of pop – they make sincere, emotional, life affirming and hugely underrated music and we are lucky to have them.



4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)