Friday, March 14, 2008

Hold On Now, Youngster…

Can listening to a record make you exhausted? I’m not sure, but I find I have to take breaks while going through the debut CD of recent Arts & Crafts signees, Los Campesinos! It’s no wonder the group is so fond of exclamation points because almost all of the songs on Hold On Now, Youngster... are delivered with a frenetic urgency that can be both exhilirating and, well, tiring.
     Clapping, shouting, frantic riffing. frat-friendly enthusiasm — we’ve seen elements of this before, with bands like The Go! Team, Tokyo Police Club and Arcade Fire, and I’m surprised there’s no name for the genre. The best I’ve heard is tweecore, a term plucked right from the title of one of Los Campesinos!’ previously released singles, “The International Tweexcore [sic] Underground.”
     And that is part of Hold On Now’s problem: their best songs have already been released (either on EP or as stand-alone singles). A couple of them are included here, like “Death to Los Campesinos!” and “You! Me! Dancing!” but a few are not, including the aforementioned “International Tweexcore” and “You Throw Parties, We Throw Knives,” their first single and two minutes of pop perfection. The new material is simply weaker, with the band showing signs of strain. Can they be burnt out by album number one? B
Los Campesinos!: You! Me! Dancing! (mp3)
Los Campesinos!: Don't Tell Me to Do the Math(s) (mp3)

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