Sunday, May 2, 2010

Post A: Show Review! (Los Campesinos!/Cymbals Eat Guitars)

Well, I've come to realise that my show reviews are kinda lame. I'm okay with that, and I'll keep doing them, but they will probably not be whole posts by themselves. Also, Daniel just got accepted into a Carnegie-Mellon art summer program, and I think some congratulations are in order.

(this is a pic I took, unfortunately the only one of the night to actually develop)
Anyway, this Tuesday I saw Los Campesinos! and Cymbals Eat Guitars. I'd seen them both before (and they ruled) so I was prety excited to see them again. The picture above is of "Joseph Ferocious" the singer/guitarist for Cymbals. His singing sounds quite a bit like Tim Kinsella, and he's really pretty awesome. I like how he can do softer vocals and then go right into more yell-y bits (in the vein of Isaac Brock, I suppose). He's the sort of guitarist who makes really goofy faces while he plays, but he's really amazing, so it's okay. I'd probably say he's among the best "new" guitarists out there. The band sounds really full, which is a feat, considering they have only a guitar, keyboard, bass and drums. I think most credit for this ought to be given to Brian Hamilton (who I talked to for a bit after the set, he's quite a cool guy. (builds pedals under the name SmallSound/BigSound (check 'em out here:, the keyboardist, who gets really nice almost atmospheric sounds out, often by tinkering with his various pedals. One of the things I like most about them is that their songs often have a groove to them (their slower songs are the exception, but they're quite amazing themselves and often have a shoegaze-y feel) so you can dance/sway/bob the head to them. Really really great, they're gonna be on tour for a bit so go see them.

And then Los Campesinos! What a band. I think they're my second favorite band in the world maybe, and they've put on the best live shows I've seen. They go completely wild, often running into the crowd near the end and passing the mic around to let the fans scream/shout/chant parts of their amazingly catchy tunes. One of the things I like best about their shows though, is that everyone sings/yells along and dances and stuff. It's basically impossible not too. They played really well (better than the other time I saw them) and had a really nice mix of stuff off their new album (Romance is Boring) and their other two (Hold On Now Youngster... , We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed). They've got a really good sound, that, to quote a lyric of theirs, sounds like "the perfect match between pretentious and pop". The original twee-ish sound that they started with has definitely matured (most obviously on The Sea is a Good Place to Think of the Future, which is an absolutely amazing/stellar, gloomy as fuck track with amazing lyrics) but they're still catchy, witty, dance-y, and completely loveable. I also like how they seem like normal guys. Neither singer is exceptionally talented, and they all look pretty normal (Gareth even comes out with his inhaler). It's sort of inspiring I suppose. Anyway, they're the best live band I've seen, and I would definitely recommend them to anyone.

Additionally, lala closed down so I suppose I'll ahve to find a new way to link songs.

- Alec

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