'Romance Is Boring', the new album from Los Campesinos!, was born at dawn on a morning in October 2008, at a point on Brighton beach where the sea meets the sky in a smear of grey. 'Romance is Boring' may not be what you expect if you come to the album with too many preconceptions about Los Campesinos! It feels like a band that's - well, not so much grown up - let's say 'fully realized'.
Recorded in two legs, the first at Carriage House, Connecticut (where the Pixies produced and mixed Doolittle) and the second at Jason McGurr of Death Cab For Cutie's new studio in Seattle, both with veteran producer John Goodmanson (Sleater-Kinney, Bikini Kill, Wu-Tang Clan) at the helm, it's a record that's bigger, deeper, more complex and more direct than anything Los Campesinos! have recorded to date. Filled out with added brass, strings, drum machines and electronics, packed with guest spots from the likes of Jamie Stewart of Xiu Xiu, Zac Pennington of Parenthetical Girls and Jherek Bischoff of the Dead Science, it is nothing if not ambitious. The strings were composed by LC!'s in-house music graduate Harriet Campesinos! Perhaps the greatest leap on 'Romance Is Boring', though, is Gareth's lyrics, which have attained a startling level of self-lacerating honesty and frank admission.
Los Campesinos! are good at being in a band. Everything they do, they do with care and attention to detail. It's there in the way they communicate directly with fans online, and in their Record Box Project - a treasure trove of seven-inch records assembled from the indie record shops of the world and given away to a lucky fan - and in the small-press fanzines they make, just because. Although 'Romance is Boring' is Los Campesinos! most mature work to date, this fun and excited attitude triumphantly shines through resulting in an album that is undeniably theirs.