Only eight months removed from the release of the most infectious record you didn’t hear this year, Hold On Now, Youngster…, the Cardiff, Wales seven-piece Los Campesinos! one-up their early-2008 output with We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed. Think Arcade Fire meets Belle & Sebastian: a mash-up of twee melodies featuring everything from guitars to glockenspiel set to a propulsive pace.
We Are Beautiful picks up where Hold On Now left off, only this time the unrestrained preciousness that made nuggets such as “You! Me! Dancing!” so affable is turned down to give a darker, post-punk edge to the intelligent and verbose songs about the opposite sex, youthful rebellion, and ringtones.
Still, it’s hard to resist tracks like the contagiously danceable “The End of the Asterisk” and “Ways To Make It Through the Wall.” Freaking out to a glockenspiel? Count me in.