Los Campesinos!, Hold On Now, Youngster

Keith Harris

By Keith Harris

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Just how old are these hyperactive Welsh art schoolers anyway? Last year, they covered an early Pavement b-side, this year, they parenthetically diddle the title of an iconic 1991 alt-rock documentary with the song "2007, The Year Punk Broke (My Heart)." But though their references warm the hearts of indie-rock oldsters, there's nothing retro about the ADD jokery of these kids (all seven of whom are surnamed Campesinos! — and you can be sure they didn't learn the trick from the Donnas.) Tiny mis-tuned guitars nibble at your ears and glockenspiels clatter with glee; it's like being dropped headlong into a classroom of demented kindergarteners, but only the most illiterate beefhead could diss the group as "twee."

Like being dropped headlong into a classroom of demented kindergarteners.

Brashly nerdy Gareth and prettily secure Aleksandra finish each others sentences, trading admonitions not to read Jane Eyre, claims to be "more like Spiderman than you will ever be" and laments that "every sentence that I spoke ended in elip … sis." Fall Out Boy would trade you Jay-Z's cell number for a title like "This Is How You Spell 'HAHAHA, We Destroyed the Hopes and Dreams of a Generation of Faux-Romantics'" And as for faux-mance itself, Gareth pithily quips "I'm not Bonnie Tyler/ And I'm not Toni Braxton/ And this song is not going to save your relationship" before the group announces, en masse, the opposite of true love: "REALITY!"