Department M - 'Department M'

Brinley’s falsetto sweeps around clattering electro-industrial synths and beats on this graceful album

  • Record Label Fierce Panda
7 / 10
If things had gone differently, Owen Brinley’s former band Grammatics could be riding high with Foals and Wild Beasts, having similarly blended intelligence, grandeur and pop nous on their one and only album in 2009. But they split a year later, and their frontman seemed destined for history’s margins when serious tinnitus threatened his career. Praise be, then, for this full return. Brinley’s falsetto sweeps around clattering electro-industrial synths and beats, and gracefully softens their edges on ‘I’ll Fax You An Apology’ and ‘J-Hop’. The latter’s brash saxophone solo proves his flamboyance remains intact. The relentlessly cold production jars, but only rarely detracts from this welcome re-introduction to an underrated songwriter.

Simon Jay Catling 7

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