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 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Los Campesinos
Sticking Fingers Into Sockets
Arts & Crafts

Rating: 8.5/10 ?

July 9, 2007
Los Campesinos! (Spanish for 'The Peasants' - strange name for a band, isn't it?) are a septet hailing from Wales, Cardiff, whose affection for catchy hooks and everlasting sense of fun make them one of the most exciting new pop bands in recent memory. Deftly combining Pavement's carefree DIY attitude with Life Without Buildings' sweetly frenzied state of mind, their debut EP, Sticking Fingers Into Sockets (coming on the hells of two 2007 singles, "We Throw Parties, You Throw Knives" and "You! Me! Dancing!", both included on this six-song release), hints at the beginning of a young band with a fruitful future ahead.

Pop this fun and contagious isn't really something rare these days (one only needs to have a look at annoyingly cute acts such as Architecture in Helsinki, of Montreal or Love Is All), but it is the band's conviction, enthusiasm and lack of cynicism which somehow set them apart from most of their peers - they're far from being one of those bandwagon-jumping bands devoid of talent, and their dedication is on full display here.

There is a fierce, infectious giddiness embodied on each of these tracks, and while Los Campesinos!' influences are visible (on their Myspace page they cite The Fiery Furnaces, Beulah, ballboy, Yo La Tengo, Huggy Bear, Heavenly, Deerhoof, Beat Happening and Sleater-Kinney amongst many others), their sound is nonetheless refreshing and original - and did I mention it's undeniably catchy? Indeed, this is the sort of deliciously harmonious no-nonsense pop that launches itself onto you and makes one want to dance all through the night while singing along.

The first song, "We Throw Parties, You Throw Knives", perfectly sets the tone for what lies ahead, as it seamlessly blends boy-girl harmonies into one gorgeous, sugary melody. The brief yet startling "It Started With a Mixx", on which singers Gareth and Aleksandra Campesinos! claim to be "Trying to find the perfect match between pretentious and pop" is a violin-ridden piece filled with handclaps and addictive guitar lines. It is immediately followed by the more frenetic and joyous "Don't Tell Me To Do The Math(s)" where at the end both voices and all instruments coalesce into one, forming a grand culmination to it all. Their sped-up rendition of Pavement's "Frontwards" - which can be found on the second disc of Slanted & Enchanted: Luxe & Reduxe) - is a more than honourable cover and works as a testament to Los Campesinos!' adoration of the renowned slacker rock champions.

It is on "You! Me! Dancing!", however, where the band's talent is wholly exposed, as it takes all components of the aforementioned songs and fuses them into a delightfully excessive six-minute escapade that frisks and jumps at a relentless pace. The song, undeniably the finest one on the EP, begins with the words "The beats, yeah, they were coming out the speakers / And were winding up straight in your sneakers" and from then on it doesn't let go. "Clunk-Rewind-Clunk-Play-Clunk" (which barely runs over the half-minute mark) serves as an apt farewell/epilogue, closing the EP in an appropriate manner and leaving an open ending for the band.

Indeed, what's going to happen to these hyperactive British teens in the future? Only time will tell, of course, but the potential shown here is to be taken into account. Surely there must be fabulous things ahead, or at least that's what this bunch of songs seems to be implying because, ladies and gentlemen, Sticking Fingers Into Sockets is a winner.

Reviewed by Pabs Hernandez
A staff writer for LAS, Pablo Hernandez keeps up pretty well with the ever-changing \'indie scene\' from his home in Madrid, Spain.

See other reviews by Pabs Hernandez



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