Radio Dept : Lesser Matters

Swedish indie archivists' jaw-dropping debut...

Some records wear the moniker ‘Critic’s Choice’ like a pungent, hastily-applied cologne. These records can usually be identified within seconds of pressing play (giveaways include gloomy synth intros, discernible melody, wispy vocals singing lyrics about nothing very much at all, the general 1983 ‘vibe’) and are almost universally of very little interest to anyone else at all.

Not so with The Radio Dept. True, the Swedish quartet’s debut album raids everyone from The Jesus And Mary Chain (witness sublime former NME Single Of The Week ‘Why Won’t You Talk About It?’) to the [a]Cocteau Twins[/a] (witness the spooky’Strange Things Will Happen’) and [a]My Bloody Valentine[/a] (witness pretty much the whole album) but it’s done with such loving respect it can’t help but delight.

When it comes to immediacy, they’re hardly Busted, but perseverance reaps great rewards. A little awkward at first it may be, but repeated listens unfurl things of true beauty such as lazily euphoric mini-anthem’1995′, or the quietest garage rock song you’ll ever hear,’Where Damage Isn’t Already Done’. This album is a miniature classic – here’s hoping indie snobbery doesn’t condemn it to the mists of time.

Barry Nicolson