Revivalism in pop music is nothing new, but the shocking precision and specificity with which bands are borrowing from bygone eras without adding much in the way of new ideas is something to approach with caution. The web's newest sensations, Welsh septet Los Campesinos, have elected '90s twee-pop as their subgenre of choice and they do an admirable job of fashioning their own songs in the vein of bleeding-heart pop groups like Talulah Gosh, the Field Mice and the Raincoats. Crammed together onstage, all of the band members seemed utterly overjoyed to be performing to such a ravenous audience.

Revivalism in pop music is nothing new, but the shocking precision and specificity with which bands are borrowing from bygone eras without adding much in the way of new ideas is something to approach with caution. The web’s newest sensations, Welsh septet Los Campesinos, have elected ’90s twee-pop as their subgenre of choice and they do an admirable job of fashioning their own songs in the vein of bleeding-heart pop groups like Talulah Gosh, the Field Mice and the Raincoats. Crammed together onstage, all of the band members seemed utterly overjoyed to be performing to such a ravenous audience.

The group’s sound is high energy through and through, which grew a bit tiring over the course of a headlining set. Aside from the exemplary single “You! Me! Dancing!” all of the songs blended into one another; even a cover of Pavement’s “Backwards” received the same chugging, triumphant arrangement as all of the Campesinos originals. Their performance certainly had its flashes of brilliances, but Los Campesinos are still in a nascent stage that finds them better suited to shorter set lengths.

Singers Gareth and Aleksandra (band members have replaced their surnames with Campesinos) compliment each other nicely as Gareth’s manic, sing-speak diary entries are tempered by Aleksandra’s whispered refrains.

Openers Parenthetical Girls played a dynamic blend of deconstructed pop music with each song veering into unexpected, and ultimately rewarding directions.

Los Campesinos!

The Troubadour; 450 capacity; $15

Production

Presented by KCRW. Reviewed June 7, 2008.

Cast

Band: Aleksandra, Ellen, Gareth, Harriet, Neil, Ollie, Tom.
Also Appearing:Parenthetical Girls, Abe Vigoda.
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