Los Campesinos! Romance Is Boring
Over the course of two albums and an EP, Los Campesinos developed a distinctive style based on wry dissection of social customs among the young and hip, all set to loud, sloppily orchestrated guitar-pop. The third Los Campesinos album, Romance Is Boring, largely stays the course, though the title—and its cover image of a bloody leg—signals a record that’s more openly cynical about all the usual pop mainstays. The snappy, furious, frankly brilliant “Straight In At 101” attacks on multiple fronts, from arguing for meaningless sex over pointless navel-gazing (“I think we need more post-coital and less post-rock”) to acknowledging that no matter how bad an individual heartbreak feels, it likely wouldn’t crack the world’s All-Time Top 100. Romance Is Boring sticks to that theme, as the band shakes its collective head over and over at how people couple and uncouple, to the point that the album gets repetitive. (It might’ve made a better EP than LP.) But even at their brattiest, the Welsh indie-rockers in Los Campesinos are a tough lot to hate. Their cacophony of instruments and voices aptly conveys what the music is about. It’s the sound of people shouting to be heard over the noise of a nightclub, underscored by the panic of realizing that they’ll have to think of something to say when the music stops.