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Reviews: Hymns, Los Campesinos!


A premium blend of country/city boys made good, Brooklyn’s Hymns rocked a small but enthused SXSW closing night crowd at Cedar Patio with the horns-heavy jam, “I Can’t Be What You Want,” insisting their brass section was an impulse buy: “We found them at IHOP this morning,” frontman Brian Harding told the audience. Showcasing southern rock grooves that have one leg in indie rock skinny jeans, the outfit nailed the party time mood by demonstration, with an emphatic Harding dropping to his knees as emphatic punctuation while guitarist Jason Roberts functioned as a spinning top, utilizing a Jamiroquai-style sliding technique to prove good tunes (and hot licks) will travel. Watch a clip of their set below:

Hymns, “I Can’t Be What You Want”

Cardiff’s most exclamatory art pop septet Los Campesinos! mounted their one-of-these-bands-is-not-like-the-others shtick at the Parish during a sensory-overloaded set that teetered between brilliant and bratty. Gareth Campesinos’ “special kid” posturing and yelping sporadically drove the needle toward irritant. But one couldn’t help but appreciate the operatic pop wonderment the ensemble conjured, thanks to a Santa’s bag full of instruments and the choral curiosity of tunes “Death to Los Campesinos!” and “My Year in Lists.”

Los Campesinos!, “Don’t Tell Me to Do the Math(s)”