Bill Cummings 08/10/2004
I was impressed that The Departure could fill the Cardiff Barfly to bursting point, just on the strength of a couple of singles, maybe they have been hyped by MT2 or Radio one or something but I was unware of this, or maybe the Parlophone marketing machine has creaked into action building a buzz around The Departure before any proper release.
One thing is clear from the outset Northampton band, The Departure are painfully "Now" all highly strung eighties post punk rhythms, taking the electro sheen of the Cure they add of the melodic style of the Killers and a dash of new romantic style for good measure. The band: all five uncomftably squeezed on stage they are angular indie students right down to their carefully applied eyeliner, windswept black hair, and knee bends and guitar strangles, that sometimes you wonder if they aren't just a too carefully calculated package, time perhaps will tell.
The Songs whizz by from the originally highly taught melodrama of "All Mapped out" with its playful post punk guitars it could be Franz Ferdinand for the too cool for school indie boy, elsewhere new single "Be My Enemy" is absolute quality, a brilliantly realised bass line is slashed all over by new wave guitars and a taught Morrissey- esque vocals from front man David Jones. Actually Jones is quite a curious figure actually at times tonight he is the embodiment of the Ian Curtis spirit all robot dancing and intense stares his vocals ranging from soaring to highly strung flinches that spike above his bands caustic eighties retro ness.
The Departure its clear have potential: and a growing appeal that may transform itself into commercial success In the next year. But there is the faint whiff of the seen it all before about them, a band so painfully in love with their influences its difficult to see how they step out of them and create their own individual sound. Are they just the latest in a long line of "trendy" bands? Here one minute gone the next. They certainly have the talent to to prove doubters wrong, Jones has a fine vocal range and his band settle easily into a angular set of rhythmically doomy eighties new wave sounds that are currently all the range( see Interpol, the Killers, Stellastarr* et all)