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CD Review: Los Campesinos! 

Romance is Boring (Arts and Crafts)

After releasing their first two of albums in 2008, Los Campesinos! spent the middle of 2009 prepping their third, Romance Is Boring, whose 15 tracks are a solid blend of the first two albums. The Welsh septet thrives on the scattershot approach to music that's been their hallmark since the beginning. There's nothing here as instantly catchy as the band's 2007 debut EP, Sticking Fingers into Sockets, but songs like "There Are Listed Buildings" and the title track come close. Romance Is Boring is full of sexual frustration. "Who Fell Asleep In" and "Straight in at 101" are dissections of the seedier side of pristine indie romance. The former recounts a tale of having sex in church, while the latter opines, "We need more post-coital and less post-rock." But amid all the fury and rage of unfulfilled passion, there are peaceful moments. "200-102" is the strangest of the bunch — a concise, bluesy and ambient experiment. The mantra of "one thousand years of perfect symmetry" in "The Sea Is a Good Place to Think of the Future" is perhaps the closest Los Campesinos! will come to finding nirvana among the doom of modern life. — Jeremy Willets

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