Los Campesinos! - Sick Scenes album review

Euro 2016 inspires plucky Welsh team to go for gold

Cover art for Los Campesinos! Sick Scenes

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If Euro 2016 made you more ashamed to be British than Theresa going gooey over Trump, spare a thought for Gareth David of Cardiff alt-pop maestros Los Campesinos!. He watched plucky underdogs Wales crash out in the semis while drinking his way through an existential crisis in Portugal – hence the sixth LC! album they made there has him dreaming of ‘anchoring that midfield like the anchor in my midriff’ on I Broke Up In Amarante.

International footballing nightmares or not, David has been a master of torrid punk-pop angst since 2008’s We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed, and Sick Scenes is among LC!’s most accomplished collection yet. It mingles grunge Wombats – on the likes of Renato Dall’Ara (2008), Sad Suppers and For Whom The Belly Tolls – with refined classical pop sweeps akin to The National or Team Me, jacked up on Haribo (A Litany/Heart Swells, A Slow, Slow Death, Got Stendhal’s). Sick as a particularly vibrant parrot.

Mark Beaumont is a music journalist with almost three decades' experience writing for publications including Classic Rock, NME, The Guardian, The Independent, The Telegraph, The Times, Uncut and Melody Maker. He has written major biographies on Muse, Jay-Z, The Killers, Kanye West and Bon Iver and his debut novel [6666666666] is available on Kindle (opens in new tab).