Department S – When All Is Said And All Is Done CD (Westworld)

Department S

I have to admit to being not being remotely familiar with this band – they had a hit single in 1980 (Is Vic There?) but seem to have fallen into obscurity since then, although I am sure their fans would tell me otherwise. Well here we are three and a half decades on, and Department S have conjured up a new album which is sure to please those diehards. This album is actually quite some achievement in that they seem to have picked up with an original post-punk sound that could have come directly from the early ’80s, without sounding remotely dated. As the album progresses you can pick up aspects of many bands of the time, from The Damned and The Ruts through to Ultravox, Psychedelic Furs and Gang Of Four. Rather than sounding directly like any of the above, that is merely to set the scene for you as When All Is Said & Done unfolds. Whilst that may all sound overtly retrospective, the result is a vibrant, catchy and memorable album that combines uptempo rockers like “Kings Of The World” with more introspective moments such as “Frozen Room”.  None of this should be a surprise but it is great when an old band comes back with a new album and it sounds as fresh and relevant as this release. Tom Chapman



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