Los Campesinos! : Sick Scenes
Though Sick Scenes marks their sixth studio album and their first in four years, significant change has apparently eluded Welsh indie-pop group Los Campesinos!. Don’t go into this record expecting some radical creative detour on the band’s part.
Los Campesinos! have always excelled in dispensing bittersweet, heart-on-sleeve witticisms and, pleasingly, they step up to the plate once again. Sick Scenes has plenty of heart, which will go a long way to endearing listeners.
There’s one efficient way to describe Sick Scenes within the context of Los Campesinos! career: take an earlier record of theirs and throw a blanket over the stereo speakers. It’s all too familiar and, compounding matters, the production does not serve the band well at all. Sick Scenes comes off as wooly and the rockier tracks tend to fall flat as a result, leaving the softer, slow-burning gems to pick up the slack (A Slow, Slow Death and The Fall of Home).
Ultimately, what Los Campesinos! are doing here, they were doing much better many albums ago, which renders Sick Scenes less enjoyable than it perhaps ought to be. The album makes you feel like it really was the right time for Los Campesinos! to slip into another gear.
By Nick Mason