The Daily Gamecock

The Radio Dept. returns to the studio to a different world

Album: "Running out of Love"

Released: Oct. 21 

Label: Labrador

Rating: B+

Sacraments can come from anywhere nowadays and still negate their own bias of their heritage by commenting on the universal point of progress. Dream pop duo The Radio Dept. hail from Sweden, but what they discuss hides underneath and runs rampant in most developed worlds. An overblown legal battle delayed the making of their fourth album and eventually The Radio Dept. decided to start fresh. 

This spawned two singles the past couple years, "Death to Fascism” and "This Repeated Sodomy,” but had no concrete direction. That was until this August when they announced their first LP since 2010, “Running out of Love."

A clear social dissertation is the main audible message of the album. The single “Swedish Guns” strobes in as a blunt jumpstarter for discussion and dancing. A greater leap in electronics weaves through the songs with more pulsation and less smoky after-tones. The songs sonically register at the same frequency as the lead singer Johan Duncanson’s dialogue. “Running out of Love” comes at the group the same way “Low-Life” manifested itself from New Order to fully take on the techno identity of what they designed.

The track “We Got Game” is a beholder of The Radio Dept.’s echo chords and sampling beats, but makes the celebration hollow because of the story of an elderly man’s death that inspired the song’s lyrics. A great welcome is Johan Duncanson’s full voice which has stayed as a constant thread within the group’s dynamic. More experimentation lends itself to the seven minute interlude “Occupied," where the positive synth energy in “This Thing Was Bound To Happen” shows the production overtures that have only grown in quality with The Radio Dept.’s steady repertoire. The album flows to a fitting end with the album’s title track's searing instrumental before concluding with “Teaching Me to Forget," a request for a solution to the underlying problems that seem to get lost in the public consciousness.

The Radio Dept. keep striving in the right direction on what they want and how they can construct it as stylistic as possible. The mainstay callbacks to their earlier albums like “Lesser Matters” and "Clinging to a Scheme” may have long since passed, but bursting flashes from still relevant pioneers in dream pop still make up the group and album’s DNA. 


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