The latest from Los Campesinos! is the tamest experiment developed since their days of hyper clanky pop. No Blues is less children screaming on the playground, more teenage journal readings embedded in indie rock mush. Although they are no longer aggressively chipper, there are some bold tracks that redeem the album – “For Flotsam” is the bright and dynamic opening song. The second single, “Avocado, Baby,” has a vocal that’s infectiously melodic yet talky, and the song holds up through repeated listens and mighty percussion. Old habits peek out of “Cemetery Gaits” – it satiates the need for oscillating riffs and a dance-y feel. Conversely, some of the album’s themes border on the melodramatic and clichéd. “A Portrait of the Trequartista as a Young Man” is monotonous with bland wisps of folk twang. Now a mature talent, Los Campesinos! have grown into their prime. They are a band capable of producing vital jams most of the time, although No Blues is overripe.
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