Department of Eagles – The Cold Nose (Melodic)


This album may have the strange honour of appearing in three years’ worth of best-of lists. It first came out in the US entitled The Whitey on The Moon UK LP in 2004. Melodic reissued it under a new title very late in 2005, but it’s only going to start making an impact in the UK, Europe and Australia this year.
And what an impact it ought to make! This album goes everywhere, and the rampant talent on display whatever style they’re playing is remarkable. We start with some nice intertwining postrock riffs, only to go into what seems to be pretty folk with “Sailing By Night” – until the beats come in, and half-way through we’re not sure whether it’s drill’n’bass or synth-pop… but the song’s a killer anyway. By track three we’ve got stuttering vocal samples with a brilliant hip-hop beat that occasional bursts into distorted drum’n’bass, while “Romo-Goth” is perfect volatile indie-punk.
The album was conceived and put together while the two members were still in college, and if sometimes the humour is rather brash, the youthful ultra-creativity carries it along. And there are some pieces of true beauty here too, from the backwards drones, glitches and waltz of “The Piano In The Bathtub” to the circular guitar lines, fluttering drums, flat-toned vocals and mad sampling of “The Horse You Ride”.
The only drawback to Melodic’s re-release is the fucking annoying cardboard box the CD case comes wrapped in – sporting the same artwork as the album inside, it’s too hard to get open. And then the tracklisting only appears inside the booklet – why oh why? Fortunately it’s such a corker of an album that you’re too carried away to care for a tracklisting until you want to refer to a particular song (or, hell, play it on the radio).
There are far too many highlights to refer to them all, mind you. Suffice to say that these kids have been listening to all the right music and pooled it all together with impeccable musicality: there’s a piano loop that suddenly takes off in just the way one’s jaded ears would never expect; fully-formed indie gems with sing-along choruses; idiotic hip-hop whose circus accompaniment mutates into a ska-punk outro… crazy drum programming and glitchy bits – it’s all here, and it’s all good.


About Author

Radio broadcaster - Utility Fog on FBi. Cellist - FourPlay String Quartet. Web administrator, editor, reviewer, sporadic blogger, science fiction fan, bicycle rider...

1 Comment