Department - 'You Just Don't Get It'
Info: Department are a four-piece indie rock band from Dublin who have released their first track to the public, 'You Just Don't Get It' (above) ahead of their forthcoming debut E.P. in early 2016. They are currently working with producer Philip McGee (Kodaline, The Academic) and describe their influences as coming from the likes of The Police, Michael Jackson, The Arctic Monkeys and The Killers, an interesting mix if I may so say! Incidentally, they also put together the above video themselves which is nicely edited to go with the music.
I've long being saying that we are currently experiencing a period in Irish music where it is awash with talent and doesn't feel like we've approached anywhere near the apex. As someone who has been fortunate enough to have written about new acts and music for the best part of three years now, one of the most rewarding aspects has been re-assessing my own tastes and also familiarising myself with genres I would not have been exposed to as much as others. Every style of music is constantly evolving, taking its lead from what has gone before or morphing into new hybrids, sometimes the change is unnoticeable until later on, and at other times it has happened under your nose and surprises you when you are met with it. What am I rambling on about here? This is supposed to be a review of Department's new track.
It's timing really, I've recently had a lot of music sent my way that you could loosely define as Indie / Alternative / Pop rock, necessary pigeon-holes to guide us in describing sound. The aforementioned upsurge in creativity on the Irish music scene has certainly made it's way into these sub-genres, ones that traditionally (some) people may dismissively call commercial or 'made for radio', and as a result of this preconception not give it a chance, I've been guilty of that before in the past until I was taught a very good lesson in reasoning by one band that I'm eternally grateful for!
To avoid this turning into an article, I'm going to talk about the music now, and 'You Just Don't Get It', basically the tipping point of me becoming convinced that indie / pop rock is in a very healthy and strong position for the first time in a long time in this country thanks to bands like Department, and I note we're only on their first serving here, but that makes it all the better. The band have described themselves as Michael Jackson fronting an indie band, bass-lines on the track certainly come across as an homage to the rich ones we had on Thriller ('Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'' springs to mind), Bad and Off The Wall.
It's also refreshing to see a straight-forward stab at saturation in the media of celebrities, our complicity in this monstrosity and how it eventually grows so big that it consumes individuals and moves on to the next victim like a virus. Department have dealt with this theme nicely and thrown the pop 'everything but the kitchen sink' at us while they were at it, catchy chorus, dance inducing guitar hooks and punchy verses. Would I listen to this track more than a few times? Yes. Would I enjoy it repeatedly? Yes. Here's hoping no one unduly interferes with what bands like Department and the recently reviewed The Academic have started out with because it's working well and we need them to retake this mantle on our behalf.
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