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Los Campesinos! 

Romance is Boring (Arts and Crafts)

It's hard to call a band prominently featuring a glockenspiel anything but whimsical. But consistent with the direction of 2008's We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed, exuberant twee-pop collective Los Campesinos! continues to explore the darker side of sunshine. Barely past legal drinking age, they're clearly experiencing growing pains. Mid-tempo slugfests "In Media Res" and "The Sea is a Good Place" are equivalent to high school sex ed: awkward, but a necessary formative experience. They're still most comfortable with amped-up shout-a-longs like "Plan A," in which Garrett Campesinos demands "more post-coital, less post-rock." They're slowly coming of age, but Campesinos still sound like Welsh art-school dropouts cranked on Fanta.

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Vol 26, No 42
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