Hold On Now, Youngster


Universal acclaim - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 29
  2. Negative: 0 out of 29
  1. The Welsh band's debut full-length captures more believable, crackling punk energy than most hardcore bands.
  2. A glockenspiel in a guitar band? Freshens up the sound, they think. And they're right.
  3. There really isn’t anything wrong with this album. It’s just the most amazing sugar rush you’re going to have this year, and is what, at this point in time, sounds strongly like the best debut album by a British indie band since Tigermilk.
  4. Recommending this album seems too light a course of action; requiring it may be more apt. Consider Hold on Now, Youngster...highly required, then.
  5. Cynics and those who just don’t feel it may claim instead that this is, at best, just a collection of good songs, with witty lyrics, without much dynamic variation; but I tell you today, five or ten or 20 years from now, the only way we won’t be speaking of Hold on Now, Youngster… as a classic will be if Los Campesinos! have already topped it.
  6. Even Youngster’s more modest near-ballads, like 'My Year in Lists,' preserve the band’s boisterous style through outlandish lyrics (“You said, ‘Send me stationery to make me horny’/So I always write you letters in multi-colors”) and ecstatic delivery, making twee fare like long-distance relationships or working in a bookstore seem like serious pop paydirt.
  7. Filter
    The tasteful kiddy nature and contrastingly mature metaphors, literary lessons and appropriate disdain, all end with a sense of urgency, making for an impressively full album [Winter 2008, p.100]
  8. This debut is unusually taut and polished, with hooks, crescendos, and clever turns of phrase nearly always in the right place.
  9. Blender
    Thanks to a sneaky sense of emo self-awareness and shambling, expansive instrumentation, they avoid cute overload. [Apr 2008, p.80]
  10. Hold On Now, Youngster is the proverbial promising debut, brimming with attitude, ideas and oomph. We await their next move with interest.
  11. Their debut album is a riotous cacophony of perfectly sculpted indie boisterousness.
  12. Under The Radar
    The band's full-length debut continues where last year's "Sticking Fingers Into Sockets" EP left off. [Winter 2008, p.82]
  13. Uncut
    LC! balance their more precious tendencies-winsome vocals, chiming xylophone--with a sharp wit and ideas that arrive in energetic tumbles. [Mar 2008, p.88]
  14. 80
    Spirited and frenetic, Hold On adds up to more than just the sum of the band's five-star libraries. [Apr 2008, p.100]
  15. Chock-full of glockenspiel, keyboards, hand claps and boy-girl harmonies, Youngster is playful and fun.
  16. While their coming-of-age tales entertain some, it's their 'us versus the world ' spirit that makes this such an enthralling debut.
  17. A welcome throwback to the raw energy of early Kill Rock Star bands, this delirious debut still boasts enough cheeky vigor to sound fresh and new.
  18. 80
    Hold On Now, Youngster... overflows with irony, pumping out bright indie-pop songs with titles such as “... And We Exhale And Roll Our Eyes In Unison” and “This Is How You Spell ‘HAHAHA, We Destroyed The Hopes And Dreams Of A Generation Of Faux-Romantics.’”
  19. Hold on Now, Youngster... succeeds where the band does hold on: to genuine emotions, to vulnerability, to a cohesion that threatens to shatter under the pressure of self-deprecation and relentless skin-pounding.
  20. For a band about whom most of the talk (pro and con) has focused on their unrelenting giddiness, Los Campesinos! have produced a debut that's surprisingly muddled emotionally.
  21. However much Los Campesinos! need a good editor--both for its music and lyrics--a red pen would only ruin the fun.
  22. It's the sort of album that at times sounds like the group simply threw everything against the wall and hoped that something would stick. In many cases, it did, but in others it sounds like a raucous mess.
  23. It might be one big, saccharine, catchy fuck-you to the industry and culture, but it's really just addictive songwriting reared on Britpop pioneers who didn't prioritize reputation over substance.
  24. Two things save Los Campesinos! from being utterly insufferable. The first is that many of these songs are such fun, hurtling from the speakers in a blur of fuzzy guitars, big shouty choruses and smart vocal jousting between singers Gareth and Alexsandra. The second saving grace is that Los Campesinos! have the brains to back up their smart arse attitude.
  25. It is, however, undoubtedly a collection of many good songs. From start to finish, it’s a relentlessly difficult listen, and one that suffers from little in the way of dynamics or variety of tone.
  26. Los Campesinos! are hyper-literate college kids out to make big statements from microcosmic situations, but the metaphors in the overly abstract lyrics often get away from Gareth and co-vocalist Aleks.
  27. Q Magazine
    More variety is needed and it's all been done before, but rarely with such a sense of fun. [Apr 2008, p.108]
  28. In terms of mere diversion, though, the perfectly titled Hold On Now, Youngster… is best administered in small amounts; otherwise, you run the risk of overdose.
  29. Alternative Press
    Youngster is only temporarily satisfying. [June 2008, p.135]

Awards & Rankings

User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 34 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 12
  2. Negative: 1 out of 12
  1. AlanF.
    Jan 10, 2009
    Wow. Refreshing smooth with energy, melody, and originality. Not trite, not too much. Please play loud.
  2. MattH.
    Nov 24, 2008
    There's no way an album this catchy should still sound so good after 30, 40 or 50 listens, but "Hold on Now, Youngster" is packed with There's no way an album this catchy should still sound so good after 30, 40 or 50 listens, but "Hold on Now, Youngster" is packed with just as much detail as it is raw energy. This is a spectacular debut album. Full Review »
  3. RichardB.
    May 26, 2008
    Great debut album, did take me a couple of run throughs to really like it, but its definitely worthy of being in anyone's record collection