LOS CAMPESINOS! – Hold On Now, Youngster (Witchita)

Los Campesinos! have been around for quite a while now, releasing singles and gigging, and in their short career they have managed to do something that other bands can only dream of – create their own genre. Dubbed ‘tweecore’ by the NME, I have always thought that it was an undeserved epithet, and listening to their debut album just enforces that view. Luckily the band themselves take it in good part, even calling their last single ‘The International Tweexcore Underground’. This single, together with previous effort ‘We Throw Parties, You Throw Knives’ have been left off the album, but they are hardly missed as there are still an abundance of good songs on here. The Cardiff seven-piece have an unusual sound – as I said before, not twee at all but certainly their youth colours their music. Every song gallops along with an infectious energy; lyrics are yelped out by a mass of vocalists over staccato guitars, all wrapped up in weird little tunes. If this all sounds a bit too experimental then don’t worry, as they make these songs eminently enjoyable by their sheer exuberance, and tracks like ‘You! Me! Dancing!’, ‘Don’t Tell Me To Do The Math(s)’ and ‘Sweet Dreams, Sweet Cheeks’ are all great singalong tunes once you get to know them. A hidden track on both vinyl and CD is ‘The Year That Punk Broke (My Heart)’, and it finally slows the pace down, but only for a while as the song ends in a glorious cacophony of noise. Los Campesinos! are something of an acquired taste, and I will be the first to admit that this is not a perfect debut, but the band has promise, and a surreal sense of humour, and I look forward to their next release with interest.