Los Camp! are geniuses. They’re Welsh, there are seven members, and I love them. The band is perhaps best known for their single from a couple years ago, “You! Me! Dancing!”, which gained them notability (notoriety?) in the indie scene. Their debut, Hold on Now, Youngster… was brilliant, and eight months later they released We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed, which was brilliant. That’s quite an accomplishment, really. Two classic albums in 3/4 of a year. Both are in the KZUU library.
LC! sound like a bunch of hyper, intelligent British kids, because that’s what they are. They can build up and break down like nobody else, full of horns and noise and energy. It can get a bit hectic, but rewarding if you don’t take them too seriously–their entire attitude is tongue-in-cheek, approaching typical teenage/young people topics of love and relationships with a clever, cynical bent.
The new album is much longer and much more sprawling than the previous two. There is more experimentation with tempo, sound and mood than ever before. This means it’s a much less concise pop experience, although We Are Beautiful hinted at their tendencies towards ambient, moody instrumental pieces. All in all, Romance is the sound of a band evolving as it grows older, keeping only the most effective elements of their previous sound as they incorporate more sophistication and grow up a little bit.
What really sets the band apart is their lyrics, though. I’m not sure I can adequately capture what hits me so hard about their writing. Here’s a sample of some of my favorite lines:
- “You said ‘send me stationary to make me horny’ / So I always write you letters in multicolors / Decorating envelopes for foreplay / Damn extended metaphors, I get carried away” (“My Year in Lists“)
- “I cherish with fondness the day (before) I met you” (“My Year in Lists”)
- “Said every photo that you took that festival got lost in your camera in an insurance scam / And though underexposed, i could see from the quality, his K Records t-shirt and you holding his hand / And I know he took you to the beach, I can tell from how you bite on your cheek, every time the sand falls from your insoles / And when our eyes meet, all that I can read, is ‘you’re the b-side'” (“Knee Deep at ATP“)
- “I identify my star sign by asking which is least compatible with yours” (“Ways to Make It Through the Wall“)
- “I’ve spent too much time on my knees next to urinals in garish Mexican restaurants / Sobbing into my warm, pale palms for a better understanding of my dietary requirements” (“Miserabilia“)
- “I taught myself the only way to vaguely get along in love / Is to like the other slightly less than you get in return / I keep feeling like I’m being undercut” (“We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed“)
- “As if I walked into the room to see my ex-girlfriend / Who, by the way, I’m still in love with / Sucking the face of some pretty boy with my favorite band’s most popular song in the background / Is it wrong that I can’t decide which bothers me most?” (“It’s Never Got That Easy Though, Is It? (Song for the Other Kurt)“)
- “You asked if I’d be anyone from history, fact or fiction, dead or alive: I said ‘I’d be Tony Cascarino, circa 1995.'” (“All Your Kayfabe Friends“)
- “I’ve learned more from toilet walls than I’ve learned from these words of yours / Your feelings are buried in scriptures and fictions, it’s all in the words but I’m here for the pictures” (“We’ve Got Your Back (Documented Minor Emotional Breakdown #2)“)
- “I think we need more post-coital and less post-rock / Feels like the build-up takes forever but you never get me off” (“Straight in at 101“)
So yeah, that’s why I like this band. All the best songs on the new record are FCC though. Fuck. Still, you should be able to find some killer tracks. Even their lesser cuts are fire.
Also, in June, this cutie (Aleks) left the band to go back to school. She will be missed.