Just six months after the release of their third full length album, The Radio Dept. have released the completely chilled out, dub inspired EP, Never Follow Suit
. The EP gets its name from the single off of Clinging to a Scheme
with the same name. The single is not only the namesake but also the second track on the EP, and the center of all the other track's musings. "Never Follow Suit" was a stand alone reggae/dub inspired track on their last album, but the EP shows the band taking that feel and running with it, adding four new songs that cohesively flow into twenty dub-heavy minutes.
The proper way to listen to Will Never Follow Suit
seems to be from front to back, in one sitting. Trying to pick out one song would cause the listener to lose out on the idea as a whole, especially considering the seamless transitions from song to song, and the evolution of the original idea. "Never Follow Suit"'s lyrical and musical theme is brought back many times throughout the EP. The lyrics are even re-used in "On Your Side". And the band manages to bring in a guest to further the exploration; "Never Swallow Fruit", the longest offering, is an expertly done dance-hall re-mix of the original track by Pistol Disco, a Swedish DJ act. The band reveals many of their influences with this short EP; at times they sound like a stoned out Massive Attack, while at others, produce a kind of Lee Scratch Perry feel. Not a bad duality to embody.
All together, the EP is an enjoyable quick exploration into a genre and feel that they havent touched on so much in the past. Their short journey into dub is respectable and pulled off without sounding contrived or tacky, both easy stumbles to make. Obvious care is taken to maintain the bands usual vocal sounds while adding the breezy, off-beat synthesizer lines and drum beats. For a band that does not consider themselves shoegaze (and yet embody the aesthetic so well), Never Follow Suit
is a good move to show their ability to shape-shift as a band and try new things successfully.
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The Radio Dept. on Myspace