September 13, 2007

Record Review: Los Campesinos!

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During every moment on the five-song Sticking Fingers Into Sockets, the band either explodes with 1,000-Watts of adolescent adrenaline or coos softly with beckoning foxiness. That is, the two — three? four? — well, the entire gang of singers do.
This six-member group must enjoy throwing tantrums because the carping doesn’t sound genuine, just bratty. But at least they are having fun. The sound is an amalgam of guitars, clatter, lots of singing and a fair share of poppycock — shamelessly cute and sing-along, if not annoying. While the production comes across as unfinished — even carefree — the vocals are flexed, taut. In the end, boy/girl vocals alternate as Los Campesinos! navigate the shifty terrain between obnoxious-revolt and sincerity; they sing, “Please don’t tell me to do the math.” Are they singing about homework or a break up? I just don’t know. But, regardless, no one is going to tell them how to behave.