Los Campesinos!
Hold On Now, Youngster...


4.0
excellent

Review

by robin EMERITUS
March 11th, 2010 | 24 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: !

The application of the Los Campesinos! ethical theory is that, no matter how many times you give up your critique of them over grammatical pains, never let them go without dropping a one-liner. My favourite of Hold On Now, Youngster... is also the most ridiculous, and even more ridiculous is that it is an actual line that actually gets sung: “This is how you spell ha ha ha, we destroyed the hopes and dreams of a generation of faux romantics”.

Get it yet? Los Campesinos! are, from their anything but humble beginnings, the most assertive band ever to debut, which is probably the reason We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed followed on a sweet sixth months afterward: you can’t debut twice guys, no matter how immediate your sophomore record is. Before it, however, is something with even more of that same immediacy. Hold On Now, Youngster… pulls every trick these hyperactive Welshmen/women want it to, on paper and off, but especially on: they discard their real surnames and become the latest band living in a cosy cult, with Gareth Campesinos! on vocals and Tom Campesinos! on guitar, and some other Campesinos! who encourage their fans to be Campesinos! They allude bands as obscure as possible (“Meanwhile, back at home with Communist Russia playing on my headphones”), list Indie documentaries (super-secret bonus-track “2007: The Year Punk Broke My Heart”) and they question a trend too many, but with no real debate that isn’t for the sake of it; Los Campesinos! is lyrically the sort of band that collected all the comebacks they ever thought of hours after various arguments, and smugly penned them all down. On Hold On Now, Youngster… they have an overload of opinions that come disarming in analytic and vagueness, as in “You! Me! Dancing” where nazly-voiced Gareth philosophises “It's sad that you think that they're all just scenesters/And even if we were it's not the scene you're thinking of/To take props from like these boy band fashions/All crop tops and testosterone passion.. The band basically ends up creating 12 double-edged swords that are impossible to attack because they are as hollow as they accuse everyone of being. Fun for a sing along, though.

If the signature sound of Los Campesinos! annoys you because their music is forever the same mix of all those things you love to hate or hate to love, it’s fair to say that you’ll be battling your feelings front on with Hold On Now, Youngster.... This is far and away their most extroverted album, with the band more of a collective than they could ever aspire to be in the coming years: in just about every song, glockenspiels overlap violins which overlap guitars which overlap drumbeats, with back and forth musical cramming being the name of the game: “Broken Hearbeats Sound Like Breakbeats” is a summary of the band at the most amplified, just from the boy/girl vocal combination screaming “one/TWO/three/FOUR!” to each other as if the apocalypse just got a whole lot more obnoxious. “My Year In Lists” is a similarly cramped tune, but ultimately culminates as the best of the band’s songs do – with words and vocals. The chorus of the collectively blurted out words “I cherish the fondness the day before I met you” is bested only by the purest a’capella outro of “Sweet Dreams, Sweet Cheeks”, which may just be the band’s most glorious moment, and to the band it is likely to be a lame afterthought that isn’t plugged in so doesn’t matter.

In spite of all this, the album’s pop hit is in fact the unconventional “You! Me! Dancing”, which takes seven minutes to blurt out a two minute idea. This song is the most conclusive of Hold On Now, Youngster… because it defines the debut for what it is: the band already know themselves better than they think, but they still truly believe they are discovering themselves and such explains this track, elevated in the band's prehistoric post-rock discipline that rewards us with a two minute build-up worthy (perhaps ironically, anyway) of Godspeed You! Black Emperor with whom they share a love of punctuation. But nonetheless is it a pop hit and the band once again just have to go crazy, the guitars this time the driving force for the darling command “It’s you!/It’s me/It’s dancing!” This album is Los Campesinos! firing on all cylinders – the unnecessary exclamation marks, the meaningless self-indulgence and the miscalculated attempt to revolt against something. It’s the genre it belongs to at dizzy new heights of irritation, but only because it is the loudest and proudest and least awkward of its kind. Also: glockenspiels.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
robin
Emeritus
March 11th 2010


4249 Comments


this is the crappy counterpart to adams' review of we are beautiful/doomed because its just the same thing but said less-well

more fun a listen than tomorrow in a year, srs.



plane
Staff Reviewer
March 11th 2010


6094 Comments


edit Re-read it for clarity and found it easier, just wordy. There's some punctuation missing though and a couple of words I
think.

plane
Staff Reviewer
March 11th 2010


6094 Comments


love the summary tho

Knott-
Emeritus
March 11th 2010


10198 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

haha, last sentence.

My Year In Lists is my favourite track from here but it's a ridiculously fun listen.

great job, not just saying that. loved the review, assertive is spot-on.

robin
Emeritus
March 11th 2010


4249 Comments


yeah i got ridiculously carried away with this so i'll be going over the punctuation and spelling now, my bad.

also my year in lists might be my favourite. i love dont tell me to do the math(s) though, mbicr reference!

danielewski
March 11th 2010


56 Comments


cock robin!

robin
Emeritus
March 11th 2010


4249 Comments


just went through and added loads of punctuation i hope it isnt as stupid-looking now

Kiran
Emeritus
March 11th 2010


6001 Comments


i have not listened to this robin but i think i will since this band is pretty great

i like the review, its very tongue in cheek critical

robin
Emeritus
March 11th 2010


4249 Comments


thanks. i was sort of trying to be silly but in a sane way. and yeah of course you'd like this, guh.

ECRbubs
March 11th 2010


687 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is one of my favorite albums ever. Nice review

thebhoy
Emeritus
March 11th 2010


4461 Comments


Robin, some of your phrasing in this review is making my head hurt. But you make it up in the last sentence.

klap
Staff Reviewer
March 11th 2010


10494 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

sexy

Digging: Caribou - Our Love

Channing
March 11th 2010


497 Comments


doesn't flow nearly as well as it should but nice review

AggravatedYeti
March 11th 2010


7685 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Also: glockenspiels.


basically.

nice stuff Robin, if a bit convoluted at times, but honestly, the writing fits the back-pacing introspective feel of the album itself soooo, yeah works.

last paragraph is spot on as well.

robin
Emeritus
March 12th 2010


4249 Comments


shouldve just made it the last line. also sorry for the needless exhausting-ness in this review, went abit ott

AggravatedYeti
March 12th 2010


7685 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

went abit ott


LC! would have it no other way

Athom
Staff Reviewer
April 6th 2010


17222 Comments


I can't believe I used to hate this. It's just too damn good.

BallsToTheWall
April 6th 2010


44601 Comments


Whoa WTF!!!!!! When did you become staff man?

Digging: Mare Cognitum - Phobos Monolith

Athom
Staff Reviewer
April 6th 2010


17222 Comments


about 3 hours ago. you're missin out, brosef.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
February 6th 2011


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Despite lacking some variety, the vibrant debut full-length release from Los Campesinos! sees the young Welsh-based septet handle the step up to LP length well enough. ‘Hold On Now, Youngster...’ is predictably a little inconsistent over its 43 minutes, but it’s difficult to dislike the fun, witty, exuberant & distinctive indie-pop which the band trade in. As with their EP; strings, guitar & many other instruments combine with the strangely charming boy/girl vocals to create a collection of catchy melodies. Recommended Tracks: You! Me! Dancing!, Sweet Dreams Sweet Cheeks, Don't Tell Me to Do the Math(s) & Death to Los Campesinos!.



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