Indie pop—and, more specifically, twee pop (you know, saccharine-sweet unrequited love meets Byrds-like jangle guitars)—used to be an exclusive genre, loved by die-hard fans intent on tracking down every Sarah Records 7-inch ever released. The idea of being a casual twee fan—a dabbler, if you will—is mostly a product of this decade, thanks to the dominance of the internet. Sure, twee bands have broken out and reached major levels of success, but not everybody can be Belle and Sebastian, right? Well, Los Campesinos!, the famous-from-MySpace, incredibly young, overly excited (that exclamation point in their name is there for a reason) septet from Cardiff, Wales, could very well be next in line. With self-deprecating lyrics, tongue-in-cheek wit, inside jokes for other indie pop kids, ADD-driven hooks, and an audio-assault of amps-to-11 rock that never once manages to be anything less than spastic, Los Campesinos! perfectly blend the idea of twee pop with a fuck-all melting pot of the last few decades of so-called "indie" music. Through the use of violins, keyboards, handclaps, boy-girl vocals, over-shouted proclamations, and the occasional glockenspiel, the band breezes through everything from punk to K Records to Pavement, and does it all with a wink and a nudge. Come on, they even have a song called "This Is How You Spell 'Hahaha We Destroyed the Hopes and Dreams of a Generation of Faux-Romantics.'" Tell me that doesn't put a smile on your face.
Their music is an absolute joy to listen to. Their youthful charisma is infectious, their silliness is charming, and their enthusiastic fandom is familiar. But it's their willingness to not stick to one single genre (they're twee without ever getting cutesy, indie pop without being tame, and punk minus the anger) that makes them more than likely to succeed with a ton of crossover appeal, both with the twee-as-fuck set and those who think C86 is some sort of fighter plane.