Radio Dept. Clinging to a Scheme

Radio Dept. Clinging to a Scheme
A year-and-a-half after it was originally due, and four years after their last LP, 2006's Pet Grief, Sweden's the Radio Dept. are finally unleashing this long-gestating record upon the world. While this doesn't match Pet Grief's massive sonic shift, Clinging to a Scheme does see a continued evolution in the band's sound, honing their pop chops. Nowhere is this more apparent than on "Heaven's On Fire," propelled by a bouncy beat and filled with shimmering guitars. Intro-ed by a clip of Thurston Moore calling for a take down of the "bogus capitalist process" that co-ops youth culture, it's the best thing the band have ever done. And while the rest of the album doesn't quite live up to this early highlight, tracks like "David" and "Never Follow Suit" come dangerously close. Johan Duncanson's vocals continue to float above the music, which works well with these tracks. But the lackadaisical delivery contributes to making lesser tunes that much more forgettable. Although Clinging to a Scheme might not be fully worth the four-year gap, it still makes a strong argument for the wait. (Labrador)