Welsh outfit Los Campesinos! make their striking return to recording in the form of Sick Scenes, their sixth album and first since 2013's No Blues. The seven-piece stay true to cathartic, anthemic form, riddling their songs with the same feelings of angst, heartbreak and general confusion that resonated with fans before.
Album opener "Renato Dall'Ara (2008)" kicks off in perfect LC! fashion with melodic, cheery riffs and a cheeky chorus that you'll find courage in singing along to: "All I want tonight is a friend with a fight / Say it to my face if you say she ain't your appetite." Lead vocalist and songwriter Gareth David has always channelled his pent-up frustration into Los Campesinos!, and they reroute it into a joyful celebration on Sick Scenes. The urgency of David's emotions drive the album forward, with centrepiece "The Fall of Home," a wistful piece about moving on, descending perfectly into "5 Flucloxacillin," about a young person combatting mental illness.
Los Campesinos!' brief hiatus has resulted in one of their strongest releases to date; Sick Scenes is an eloquent testament to the triumphs and trials of adulthood. (Wichita)