30 June 2016

Review of When All Is Said And Done by Department S

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DEPARTMENT_S_COVER   “When All Is Said And Done is like a journey through time, absorbing some of best elements of the past fifty years of music – packed with hooks, riffs and choruses that will keep this album being respun again and again.”

Post punk/new wave band Depart S – best known for their early eighties hit “Is Vic There?” have finally released the album they were destined to make with When All Is Said And Done.

Kings of the world is an uplifting opener, with huge harmonies, driving drums and infectious hooks delivered by vocalist Eddie Roxy. (Original frontman Vaughn Toulouse sadly died in 1991)  The stomping, seductive groove and fuzz riffage of I Said It’s You shows a band with years of experience in crafting instantly memorable songs, with an almost 60 ‘s pop vibe meets the Buzzcocks chorus, as Roxy proclaims “I should stop wasting my time with you”. It’s impossible to keep still to this number as your body involuntarily and instinctively jerks and jolts to the four on the floor groove. The minor key of the title track does nothing to stop the energy which is driven along by the solid rhythm section and in your face guitars and  harmonies of these three opening tracks show a fifties/sixties influence – an era where the hair wasn’t big but the choruses certainly were!

Long March is again testament that the band know how to write massive choruses, with the punk ethos of a simple no bull delivery – but without compromising the integrity of the songwriting. Frozen Room brings a more post punk/Killing Joke feel with its opening synths and off kilter rhythm and has a darker, more ominous vibe which contrasts well with the optimistic energy of the opening tracks. Persia Dance evokes the 80’s vibe with some characteristic synths in the chorus and a funky groove but all with a sound of its own that is hard to categorise. I’m not sure how the Persian’s dance exactly but it’s certainly not difficult to dance to this number. On my own again is another example of the fine songwriting and interplay between the guitars and vocals, which never fight each other for sonic space throughout the album. Cause lets the 60’s/70’s influenced ginormous riffs take center stage and features some extensive guitar work, giving a nod to Zeppelin almost! The trance like synths and electronic vibe of closing track Age of control highlights the versatility of this album and at times this album feels like a journey through time, absorbing some of best elements of the past 50 years of music.

Department S have finally produced the album that they were destined to and have ram packed it with hooks, riffs and choruses that will keep this album being respun again and again. The production is crisp and refreshing and deserves to attract not only fans of their original era but also a younger audience with its youthful energy-  as there is a wealth of lessons contained herein in how to write some kickass  songs.

Rating 4/5

Reviewed by Ian Guest

 

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