Los Campesinos! - We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed

Alex Skinner 21/10/2008

Rating: 4/5

Sporting lyrics with a more emotive edge, the hearty clan of musical whizzes show clear signs of evolving their sound and overall presence. Initially intended as an EP, the work signifies a darker, grittier side to the Campesinos' sound. If we go down the way of musical comparisons, Pavement springs to mind, whereas previous work swayed more towards Architecture in Helsinki.

Ten brand spanking newfangled songs with a rejuvenated sound, leading straight in with Ways To Make It Through The Wall from many an instrument. Serving well as an opening gambit, this shows a forward thinking direction with style that clenches onto a fresh mixture of sounds, generating into the wonderful Miserabilia.

The record's centre piece We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed allows an emotionally charged Gareth to sing his heart out about an ex-girlfriend, with the last powerful, screaming lyrics of "I hope my heart goes first!". This album is about overcoming, with an attempt to fully hurdle regret.

Clever word play is a lyrical strong point whereby references come out to play, slapping a smile on your face. References to Tony Cascarino (circa 1994), heartbreaks, love shakes, relations and many more tit bits, play their part in delivering bittersweet thoughts. The lump in your throat swells when the array of violins, guitars and playful glockenspiel take shape, most evident with These Fingers For Crossing, a melodic treat that opens up the chakras.

In parts, Gareth's lead vocals go off the boil, but are quelled by the soft vocals of Alek's. This is abundant in Documented Minor Emotional Breakdown #1.

'We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed' is down the same alley of the first album, but is walking in the other direction. The record (only 5 months since 'Hold On Now Youngster') was emancipated and this latest offering is a release of energy, even if that is pent up emotional aggression.

They have had time to grow, and there is clear progression shown, it's a step in the right direction.