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"Hold On Now, Youngster..."

Release date: 18 February 2008
Hold On Now Youngster
21 February 2008, 10:30 Written by Ro Cemm

"Teenage dreams, so hard to beat". These were the words on John Peel’s headstone, finally erected last week in the graveyard of St. Andrews Church in Great Finborough.

Without doubt, the teenage dreams, tales of love, bedroom dancing and having a good time that Los Campesinos! offer up on Hold on now, Youngster... would have struck a chord with Mr. Peel, no doubt reminding him of a turbocharged version of a Bearsuit or Bis.

Los Campesinos! deliver everything that you might expect from a band who released a single called 'The International TweexCore Underground' last year (sadly not featured here). Calling to mind the pop sides of great underrated bands like Help She Can’t Swim and Kenickie, this is a twinkling glam pop headrush of a record. Keyboards swirl and bleep, guitars tumble over themselves, while Gareth and Aleksandra Campesino have boy/girl vocal pillowfights, his spiky Darren Hayman-esque speak-singing complemented perfectly by her sweet harmonies that waft in and out like The Delgadoes.

Like Let’s Wrestle, Los Campesinos! are bringing back ‘indie’ in the very best sense of the word, all jangling guitars pounding drums and flailing arms, taking the favourite parts of their record collections and crafting the music that they want to hear. The album is full of youthful exuberance, peopled by other enthusiastic, K Records t-shirt wearing indie kids who drink to much coffee, stay out late, go on picnics and talk about their latest ‘top ten’s’ or Teen-C. Album highlight ‘You! Me! Dancing!’ builds slowly, with a quietly strummed guitar and strings blending into white noise before exploding into a xylophone driven sugar-pop paean to dancing ‘like everything he spins is Bis’, not being able to dance at all, but doing it anyway.

After 43 minutes and 20 seconds everything whirs to a halt and you are left with a dizzying feeling, as if you have been spinning round and round in circles after drinking to much pop. It might not be the most complex record this year, and neither does it challenge the listener much, but I defy you if you don’t find yourself smiling and nodding your head along at the very least. Perhaps the spoken word section of 'You! Me! Dancing!' sums the album up best:“We’re undeveloped, we’re ignorant, we’re stupid, but we’re happy.”

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