Album Review: Los Campesinos! - Sick Scenes

Written by Daniel Rourke

With a career spanning over a decade, Los Campesinos! have been prolific in releasing some of the most infectious and outrageously fun tracks. Stacked head to toe with self-deprecating lyrics, sarcasm and cultural references, Los Campesinos! have become a staple within the indie pop scene.

The announcement of the band’s sixth studio album 'Sick Scenes' was met with the release of lead single I Broke Up In Amarante. Packed with a huge chorus, the track tells the tale of a booze filled breakdown that’s full to the brim with football references and nods to the European Championships.

If I Broke Up In Amarante does anything, it depicts just how good Los Campesinos! are at writing a hook. It’s a trait that is also found in tongue in cheek album opener, Renato Dall’Are (2008) as Italia 90 references go toe-to-toe with self-deprecation to create one of the stand out tracks on the album both lyrically and musically.

As 'Sick Scenes' progresses A Slow, Slow Death and The Fall From Home see a decline in pace, as the latter sees the band take a hauntingly beautiful look at moving away from your hometown: “Left your hometown for something new // don’t be surprised now it’s leaving you.

Musically Sick Scenes doesn't do anything drastically different from previous Los Campesinos! release, although it does have its moments of diversity. 5 Flucloxacillin picks the pace back up a little, as Gareth Campesinos! tells the tale of mental health and how “OAPs” tend to criticise millennial coping mechanism.

From there on out the record carries on in a similar vein of mixed pace, football references and constant hooks. It isn’t until Got Stendhal’s appearance that the listener is treated to a change in sound as the bridge is wrapped in a musical elements that wouldn’t be out of place on The 1975’s sophomore release ‘I like it when you sleep for you are so beautiful, yet so unaware of it’.

'Sick Scenes' proves to be a return to form for the band who openly mock their 2008 heyday. Whilst there’s nothing particularly new about the record, there are enough hooks and an abundance of clever lyrical moments that make up for that.