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The Radio Dept. - Freddie and the Trojan Horse EP | A More Sedate Pace

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Artist: The Radio Dept.
Album: Freddie and the Trojan Horse EP
Label: Labrador
Release Date: September 10th, 2008

On what appears to be their umpteenth EP, Malmö/Stockholm-based the Radio Dept. exhibit a mastery of retro 80s pop. And as with most Swedish indie-pop artists, the lure is in their purist tone. But for the first time the band has successfully managed to push their deep-seated perfectionism into the realm of the practical.

Accordingly, it requires very little effort to get one's head around Freddie and the Trojan Horse. The opening track, "Freddie and the Trojan Horse," is as uncomplicated yet powerfully evocative as any Cure or New Order song. A loud crack of straightforward beats is strengthened by sinewy keys. Yet it is the runaway interlude—redolent of the Cure's tenderhearted temperament—that is so seemingly universal. The poignant piece finds front man Johan Duncanson ambiguously supplicating, "Just let us go," over and over again. He may be singing with rancor, but the instrumentation is downright equable and, furthermore, digestible.

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The Radio Dept. - "Freddie and the Trojan Horse"

Whether it be the breathy synths ("Freddie and the Trojan Horse"), the Phoenix-like palm-muted licks ("Closing Scene") or the strangely ethereal vocals ("The Room, Tarzana"), it is clear that the Radio Dept.'s nostalgia for new wave pervades the songwriting process. And even though the slightest deviation from 2003's My Bloody Valentine-induced effort, Lesser Matters, could prove disastrous, these Swedes maintain a delicate sensitivity that sustains the listener throughout.