Los Campesinos!

Sticking Fingers into Sockets EP

(Wichita/Arts & Crafts; 2007)

By Peter Hepburn | 26 January 2008

So this is the next big thing, eh? Guess in an era when Cold War Kids can gain.well, an audience, anything is possible. But, y'know? So readily applauding such mediocrity and wholesale sound-jacking really isn't my style. 'Cause here's the deal: Los Campesinos! sound exactly like Architecture in Helsinki. Okay, not exactly: the accents in this case are British rather than Australian, but I hope you'll excuse a Yankee like me for muddling the two. Oh, and Los Campesinos! don't have the horn section. Other than that they are, for all intents and purposes, the same. And therefore totally unnecessary.

"But," you ask, "if this EP is so unnecessary, why is this septet garnering such praise? Not everyone gets signed to Broken Social Scene's label for their debut EP." You have a point there, my friend. Usually you do actually have to be a member of BSS, but they do make exceptions. Anyways, apparently the masses have forgotten Fingers Crossed (2004), which they shouldn't have. That was, and still is, a surprisingly good album, assuming you can stomach such syrupy pop goodness.

"Are you kidding, I've listened to Hissing Fauna like eight times! I love pop syrup!" Yes, you do look like the sort.

"So I'll like Sticking Fingers into Sockets?" Yeah, maybe, but why bother? It's got two dull, derivative songs, one song that Art Brut has written better at least twice, one pointless interlude, and the only promising song is twice as long as it ought to be.

"Wait, that only makes five." Yeah, well they cover Pavement.

"Pavement! Oh man, I love Pavement! Los Campesinos! sound like Pavement too?" Nope, or at least not any more than every indie band formed after 1995. Anybody can cover "Frontwards." It's a song that is impossible to hate, or even get very wrong. It's on par with covering "Hallelujah" or something.

"Oh, man, I love that song. I dunno, this EP sounds like something I'll love." You know what, friend, you just might.