Album Review: The Radio Dept – ‘Clinging To A Scheme’ (Labradour)

Perfectly hazy record, but fails to push this band to the limits of their capabilities

Whether by design or evolution, The Radio Dept’s third album fits the grand scheme of all things voguish and hazy rather perfectly – though that’s not to say they’ve made a faultless record, as ‘Clinging To A Scheme’ arguably hangs from just a few songs. ‘Heaven’s On Fire’ starts by sampling Thurston Moore urging the destruction of “the bogus capitalist process that is destroying youth culture”, an anarchistic sentiment wholly incongruous to the housey synth, gentle sexy P-funk and saxophone that skip double-Dutch throughout. The Radio Dept aren’t punks, they’re dreamy sweethearts who occasionally open their eyes to write majestic brilliance like ‘Never Follow Suit’, whose baggy Balearic beat could be cheesy were it not for their delicious Saint Etienne-like indolence. It’s a shame then that the rest of the record only teases with such promise, meandering around OMD hooks and submerged vocals without pushing them to the limits of their capabilities.

Laura Snapes

Click here to get your copy of The Radio Dept’s ‘Clinging To A Scheme’ from the Rough Trade shop