Los Campesinos! – No Blues
What are we going to do about Los Campesinos!? 2011's Hello Sadness gave notice of a shift from the ragged polemic of their early work, Gareth David opting largely for inward reflection over snapping in your face. His classically-inclined indie pop manifesto seemed to be running out of steam.
Hurrah then for No Blues, a work that arrives fully featured and fully realised: variations in tempo, tone and arrangement give it chance to take hold. David’s lyric sheet still bristles with his semi-misanthropic ravings and they give rise to as much startling insight (“We lined up stiff and cold, like bed and breakfast toast” – Cemetery Gaits) as they do sixth form clumsiness.
Glue Me’s “We connected like a Yeboah volley” is one ‘coats for goalposts’ reference too far. Overall, though, tremendous. Five albums in and Los Campesinos! remind us why we fell for them in the first place. No Blues sounds like a band in mojo recovery mode. [Gary Kaill]