Review Summary: No Blues will make you dance till you drop. And by drop, I mean die, but in a happy fun way!No Blues
is an intoxicating album. Really, if music could get you hammered this would totally do the trick. Los Campesinos! blow up their sound, and the metric fu
ckton of vocal harmonies, guitar hooks and auxiliary instrumental flourishes will overwhelm your brain to the point where you can’t help but get lost. The dichotomy of an album so obsessed with death being so full of spirit it used to full effect: even when the band is employing fantastic morbid imagery on opening track “For Flotsam” (‘you say you were an old cassette that has gone and spilled its spool‘) they keep everything incredibly upbeat and well…happy. Every song builds into something epic and plainly wonderful, and the songs almost never let up.
So the band has become way more outright cheerful and life affirming, but something that hasn’t changed with Los Camp is the fact they still do way too much all the time. The last thing No Blues
could ever be called is subtle, and its greatest downfall is that nearly every moment on the album past the first few phrases of a given song is so full of goings-ons that it’s hard to really dig in and connect with it. “Avocado, Baby” starts off as a wonderful, groovy little jam that turns into a smorgasbord of weird songwriting conceits and multi-layered guitars that loses sight of what was so immediately engaging about the song. Is it still urgent and exciting to listen to? Definitely, but by the time the song devolves into “Girlfriend”-esque gang chanting, you start to wonder if what you‘re listening to is just a bunch of crazy ideas thrown together in a potluck of indie nonsense.
In the end though, everything here is probably for the best. Los Camp have never sounded better or more essential, even if it’s all a little Motion City Soundtrack-ish. No Blues
should propel them forward creatively and gain them a well deserved new fan base, all while giving all of us something to dance to with our friends after a few long islands.
Actually, let’s be honest, this is Los Campesinos!. A few PBRs is more likely.