Los Campesinos!, Romance Is Boring

loscampes_phixrRomance Is Boring, the third proper LP from Los Campesinos! is also the 50th release from Arts & Crafts, the Toronto indie label best known for their family-like attitude and releasing records from all manner of groundbreaking artists. A landmark release, or simply a coincidence? You’d have to think that after releasing three records in 18 months, Los Campesinos! might be a little burnt out and artistically drained, leading to nothing more than a coincidence. But on this vast and masterful record, Los Campesinos!, beautiful evolving butterflies that they are, fly with such a daring majesty that you wouldn’t be surprised if this butterfly somehow evolved into a big, bold hawk. At 15 tracks, Romance Is Boring is certainly an ambitious release. But throughout these 15 tracks, these indie stalwarts prove one of the most overused music-writing clichés to be true: their sound truly can’t be labelled.

What remains wildly palpable after a few spins of Romance Is Boring is how epic these youngsters have become. The opening two tracks, “In Medias Res” and “These Are Listed Buildings” stretch with poise, but what’s different from earlier Campesinos! releases is how these grand tracks cruise with such ease. The band sounds full, with every member firing on all cylinders, not the least of which lead singer Gareth Campesinos, who weaves far-out tales and clever wordplay into one epic poem.

Amidst all these grand tales and far-reaching sonic expansion, the tunes on Romance Is Boring remain sharp at heart. “Straight In At 101” sounds oddly reminiscent of so many other dance-rock bands coming out of the UK, but what Campesinos add is the grand touch which they’ve discovered on Romance Is Boring. At well over 45 minutes of listening, there’s lots to discover on Romance Is Boring. And that’s rather fitting, considering the nature of Los Campesinos! This is a band making discoveries all over the place. And we like what we’re hearing.

By Joshua Kloke

[Rating: 4.5/5]

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