LOS CAMPESINOS! - Hold On Now, Youngster... CD (Wichita)

“I'm not Bonnie Tyler, and I'm not Toni Braxton” sings Gareth Campesinos! on 'We Are All Accelerated Readers', and unless either have suddenly begun to sound akin to Bis covering Pavement songs it's a pretty safe bet that he's telling the truth.

If you're a sensitive sixth-former desperate for a band to call your own and who thinks that the likes of Razorlight and the Fratellis are nought but yobbish cunts, or you're a 30-something indie-snob who believes that the advent of Britpop heralded an irreversible decline in the UK indie scene (and here at Hot Cuss we're somewhere between those two stools) then there's a lot to like about 'Hold on Now, Youngster...': slightly pretentious song titles ('This is How You Spell: “Hahaha We Destroyed the Hopes and Dreams of a Generation of Faux-Romantics', for example), an old-skool DIY ethic (they've produced a cut and paste photocopied zine to give away on tour, an idea that their younger fans who've been brought up with the internet may find frightening and confusing) and lyrics that are perhaps not quite as clever as they think they are but sweetly endearing all the same.

It sounds like it should've come out a decade ago perhaps, but it's refreshing to hear young bands plundering the back catalogues of K, Sarah and Chemikal Underground instead of the Beatles, Stones and Pistols for the umpteenth time. It could be argued that it's not quite the amazing record that the singles promised – if you're not over-enamoured with their shtick it could be a bit of a slog getting through all 12 songs in one sitting, like eating 12 Wham bars in one go – but any album with an intro as splendid as that to 'Broken Heartbeats Sound Like Breakbeats' can be forgiven almost anything. A fine debut then, but hopefully their subsequent releases will see them reach the heights that this record only hints towards.

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