Los Campesinos!: Hold On Now, Youngster...

Music Reviews Los Campesinos!
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Los Campesinos!: Hold On Now, Youngster...

Welsh baby band on quest to replace every period with an exclamation point!

Seconds into “Death to Los Campesinos!”—which opens the debut full-length by this barely post-collegiate septet from Cardiff, Wales—the bombardment begins: glockenspiel, fiddle, banks of keyboards, pummeling drums and breathlessly earnest boy/girl vocals. It’s as if the band wanted to stuff the entire history of DIY ambition into 38 minutes, from ’80s New Wavers like Human League and post-punkers like Dexy’s Midnight Runners to various contemporary incarnations; they’re the Go! Team on steroids, they’re the Arcade Fire without the mortal dread, and they’re Vampire Weekend with fancier punctuation (“Knee Deep at ATP” references ellipses, parentheses and apostrophes). They’ve started their own youth movement, and if they were its only members at the outset, their pulse-racing production numbers are filled with so much life-affirming exuberance that they just might pull it off. In terms of mere diversion, though, the perfectly titled Hold On Now, Youngster… is best administered in small amounts; otherwise, you run the risk of overdose.

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