Vomit of Light
Depending on your musical tastes, the title of the album can either be a come-on or a turn-off. The New York-based underground rockers of Please Dept. aren’t likely to convert the unenlightened to the indie aesthetic; what they have here is the epitome of the DIY philosophy — a low-fi, deeply quirky, and highly unpredictable recording rooted in a twisted, unique vision. At times Please Dept. recalls the deadpan baritone bellowing of college-radio icons the Violent Femmes and the angular slacker rhythms of Pavement. What easily separates them from those pioneering post-punk acts is their affection for synthesizers. If you can imagine Devo slamming into Beat Happening, that is Please Dept. in a nutshell.
“I was once a crook/ But I changed my ways” is the startling confession in the opening cut, “Lesson Learned.” Most of Chris Hembree’s lyrics have a stream-of-consciousness flow to them, but they’re not fillers or tossed-off nonsense. Don’t pay attention to them, and you’ll run the risk of missing such humorous revelations. The satirical “Baptist Party” is particularly stinging and hilarious. Musically, the keyboards both carry and add color to the beat, such as the carnival atmospherics of “Baptist Party” and the Halloween spook vibes on “Lesson Learned” and “Bags of Drugs.”
P;ease Dept.: www.pleasedept.com