Saturday, July 21, 2007

Los Campesinos! "Sticking Fingers Into Sockets"

Artist: Los Campesinos!
Album: Sticking Fingers Into Sockets [EP]
Label: Arts & Crafts
Release date: 3 July 2007
Genre: Rock
Style: Indie Rock

01. We Throw Parties, You Throw Knives
02. It Started With A Mixx
03. Don't Tell Me to Do The Math(s)
04. Frontwards
05. You! Me! Dancing!
06. Clunk-Rewind-Clunk-Play-Clunk
Total running time: 16' 06"

[Los Campesinos! - Open MySpace Standalone Music Player]

[Los Campesinos! - You! Me! Dancing! - Video Clip]

[Los Campesinos! - We Throw Parties, You Throw Knives - Video Clip]

"By midway through 2007, it's common knowledge that the indie elite has a small problem with taking itself too seriously at times, that today's hipsters are bound more by a sense of pop-cultural and intellectual superiority than by a shared vision or aesthetic. Helping to feed that sense of superiority is an apparently unending train of underground act ready to wrap itself in obtuse lyrical references and self-congratulatory arrangements meant to befuddle or challenge anyone who isn't down with getting it on the first, second or third listen. The indie era's just so wonderful, isn't it?

That makes Cardiff, Wales' Los Campesinos all the more intriguing: While so many of their compatriots are doing everything in their power to take the fun out of pop music, Sticking Fingers into Sockets does just the opposite, dropping a six-song antithesis to underground buzz-band formalities. To start out, it opens with "We Throw Parties, You Throw Knives," a none-too-veiled condemnation of vicious cooler-than-you attitude that permeates the underground, with an unabashedly catchy upbringing: Singers Aleksandra and Gareth (both of whom abandon their surnames) weave boy/girl vocals that are like precious bedroom-pop confessionals pumped up on sugar and open-mouthed kissing as the band churns through pure-pop sweetness that's one part indie precociousness and one part to-the-brim pop sugar.

It's not the sort of thing that usually gets the underground's tongues wagging: It's obviously accessible; it's fun without pandering to irony and has nothing to do with the indie world's cooler-than-thou preoccupations. It's also the perfect introduction to Los Campesinos, as the rest of the EP follows suit marvelously. Finding a surprising, although totally admirable, balance between Rentals-styled giddiness and Field Mice-esque coyness, Sticking Fingers Into Sockets is a much-needed antidote for hipster detachment. "Don't Tell Me to Do the Math(s)" sees wild, nearly pop-punk guitars forcing themselves onto a song that's so cute it'd be twee in any other setting, and "You! Me! Dancing!" is as giddy and carefree as its title would have you believe.

If you're the sort who'd rather spend you Saturday night spinning your favorite records with a small group of select friends than messing with the attitudes at the local rock bar, Sticking Fingers into Sockets may be your salvation. Los Campesinos rediscover all the fun that made you fall in love with music in the first place and somehow marry it to all the smarts that made you stick around after the first date. Indie snobs, your world may be starting to crumble." [source]


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