Los Campesinos! | Hello Sadness

Arts & Crafts (2011)
By RYAN REED  |  November 16, 2011
3.0 3.0 Stars

CAMPS-M

"I've been digging my grave for quite some time," speak-sings Gareth Campesinos on his band's unrelenting fourth album. In case you were fooled by their perky 2007 single "You! Me! Dancing!" (or their liberal usage of exclamation points), let's get one thing straight: Los Campesinos! love wallowing in their own multi-layered misery. Ah, that title— Hello Sadness. Don't sell yourselves short, guys! This is indie-rock's Last Supper of sadness — a savory buffet spread of self-hate and agony that transcends into a grand emotional apocalypse. Despite the occasional bouts of screamo-style diary shit ("This river from my broken heart is never running dry") and a voice that only runs on one speed (exhausting), Gareth is a transfixing lyricist. And musically, the septet are as colorful as ever, only more resonant and with fewer xylophones — plus a newfound emphasis on rhythmic muscle. Gareth's grandiose self-mutilation journeys way past the tipping point. In the course of the album, he's ripped "limb from limb" by a blackbird, is buried at sea, and has his throat "ripped to shreds" by anonymous fingernails and his skin charred by a Zippo lighter. But subtlety isn't exactly this gang's bag. In the Campesinos! world, every day is a brand new rapture. If the end of the world were this cathartic and catchy, you'd almost look forward to it.
  Topics: CD Reviews , Music, Los Campesinos!, Los Campesinos!,  More more >
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