A couple weeks ago, while boning up on critical theory regarding the death, rebirth, and questionable continued relevancy of Weezer (OH GOD, I'VE WASTED MY LIFE!), I came across an installment of Nitsuh "OTM" Abebe's excellent Pitchfork column Why We Fight, titled "A Brief History of Knowingness and Irony." The essay touched on an idea that I was gradually coming around to or at least beginning to entertain: Instead of just falling off hard after Pinkerton, hiatus, and reformation, perhaps Weezer had always been incredibly lame, hammy, and socially retarded, and perhaps they only seemed so much bigger than that to me at 14 or 16 because--gasp!--I too was lame, hammy, and socially retarded. Provocative, but so far I was with him. Then, I got to this bit:
Surely, I'd have said, people would relate to this mostly in that knowing, head-shaking, self-mocking way: I've been there, and I'd prefer to laugh about it. [...] These days it's how I listen to Los Campesinos!. All the knowing, petty jealousy in a line like "You said he got his teeth fixed/ I'm gonna break them"-- that's half punchline, right? Just the brief yelp of a stupid, useless feeling you probably understand the uselessness of. It's part cartoon. [...] Take these as part-time feelings, and they might actually make you a healthier person, in touch with your own bullshit and able to laugh it away. Take them as full-time feelings? I'm not one to be giving life advice, but still: there's some chance you'll wind up a mess.
What the WHAT?! I've been swallowing LC! as full-time feelings for a couple years now, and look at me! Ask my exes if it's messed me up! (And let me know what they say--we don't speak anymore.) Anyway, "By Your Hand," the new song from the forthcoming album Hello Sadness (!) is on the slower, gentler, daresay poppier side of Los Campesinos!, and/but its typically hung-up/stalkery chorus is a burner ("By your hand is the only end I foresee/I have been dreaming you've been dreaming about me"), and the video is some of the best simulated suicide and rap bridge I've seen on the small screen since "Yonkers."