Top Sounds - D

DEAD ENDING - Shoot The Messenger {Alternative Tentacles}  PODCAST PLAYED After a series of stunning EPs, this Vic Bondi-fronted project fimally delivers its debut album. Boasting 14 tracks, there are certainly more textures here than the bluster-filled EPs. Opener ‘The Long Decline’ could have even been on a REPORT SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY album. The same could be said about several tracks, in particular ‘Fate’ which could be the album’s best. From there, highlights include ‘Class War’ that rips along on an embittered riff with enraged Bondi vocals, ‘Make My Own Way’ which is given extra depth by some very NAKED RAYGUNish backing vocals from Jeff Dean, the title track that has some expansive, almost Revolution Summer-esque guitar tones under a highly political lyric, the politics are even more pronounced in ‘The Boss Wants My Vote’ while both ‘Drones V2’ and ‘Manic In Detroit’ keep the Hardcore barrage in check with short, snappy enraged attacks. The other potential best track could be ‘Burn This Day’. Have to say, the band’s previous releases have all been big spinners here but  this, given its variety in tone, pace and dynamics, has usurped all of those to be able to claim the best release in a very impressive catalogue. All killer, no filler - a cliche but true in the case of this rancorous, political slice of inventive, no bullshit Hardcore. (12.02.18)

DEPARTMENT S - 45 Revolutions: Singles 1980 - 2017 {Westworld} If ya didn’t know, these guys had a minor hit with the moody ‘Is Vic There?’ which was more New Wave than Punk or even post-Punk. And that pretty much follows the trait of this 15 track compilation (of which three are different takes of ‘Is Vic There?’). Musically, think DAVID BOWIE, THEATRE OF HATE, a bit of STRANGLERS and a bit of JOY DIVISION and you’re kinda there. Other highlights include the jagged ‘On My Own Again’, a great take on ALVIN STARDUST’s ‘My Coo Ca Choo’, the spritely ‘When All Is Said And All Is Do’ and the dour sobriety of ‘God Squad Saviour’. Not quite sure why they thought it wise to re-record ‘Is Vic There?’ as it’s no improvement on the original. Often viewed as a one-hit wonder (which, in terms of ‘hits’, is true), DEPARTMENT S definitely had several other quality tracks - and this is the ideal place to discover them for the curious. (19.02.18)

Hit HERE for material reviewed prior to 2018 including:
THE DAMNED, DAYLIGHT ROBBERY, DEAD ENDING, DEAD TO ME, DEBT NEGLECTOR, THE DECLINE, DIRECT HIT, DIRTY PRIESTS (2 reviews), DISASTER STRIKES, DISCHARGE (2 reviews), DISTANK, D L BURDON, D.O.A. (2 reviews), DOCTOR AND THE CRIPPENS, DOCTOR BISON (2 reviews), THE DOMESTICS (4 reviews), DOWN LOVE, DRAKULAS, STEVE DREWETT, DUNCAN REID AND THE BIG HEADS (2 reviews) and DWARVES (2 reviews)