Review: The Radio Dept – Clinging To A Scheme

 The Radio Dept. have been flying the flag for the Swedish shoegazing movement since 2004’s superb ‘Lesser Matters’. Since then, releases have been rather sporadic with new album ‘Clinging To A Scheme’ only their third long player. Clocking in at less than thirty five minutes, they couldn’t be accused of over-exerting themselves either.

With its odd mixing of vocals and gutars, at their most lo-fi (‘This Time Around’ for example) The Radio Dept. resemble an amateurish shoegaze act but on ‘The Video Dept.’ the grind away most agreeably whilst the glittering ‘David’ must have been the obvious choice for the first single. Thanks to its innocent outlook and summery guitars, the first track ‘Domestic Scene’ even sounds like a digitsed version of the rather fey British act The Field Mice. They’re not averse to experiment either. ‘Heavens On Fire’ piles on the jangle and uptempo hip-hop beats to creative one of the most infectious moments of the record whereas the underlying melody to ‘Never Follow Suit’ recalls Ace Of Base’s ‘All That She Wants’, no less.

Their arrangements and production techniques may remain largely unchanged but The Radio Dept. do have their own distinctive sound which is a league apart from most dreampop/shoegaze acts. So if they produce another album like this in four years’ time, I certainly won’t be complaining.

Web Sites:
The Radio Dept. Official Site
The Radio Dept. MySpace

Further Listening:
The Field Mice, Engineers

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