Mr Nutley’s Strange Delusionarium – It’s A **** Thing Review

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If you were told that a band had reformed decades after their moment in the sun then it follows that it’s a cash in. An exercise in the rehashing of the past to appeal to those who are caught in the the grip of rich amber tinged memories. It’s rare for these bands to match their past endeavours and ever rarer for them to be surpassed. Yet every once in a while one band comes along and does just that. Everything that they do screams that the past is the past, and even while the may reference it you know it’s in the context of celebrating the present as they keep one eye on the future.

Department S are one of those rare beasts. Right at this very moment in time they are in fact ‘that’ band. With ‘Mr Nutley’s Strange Delusionarium’ they have neatly side stepped expectations and made wrong footing the listener a theme. Misdirection is the name of the game. Take the hit single ‘Is Vic There’ as an example. Those familiar with it would consider that they would know exactly what they were getting, but they would be wrong…….very wrong. It’s now a toned and muscular demonstration of how to grab the attention of the jaded. The casualness of the original is completely lost in the mists of time and to all intent and purpose this is a new song. Every track on the album leads you to a comfortable point, and then it blindfolds you, spins you round and pushes you disorientated in yet another – ultimately rewarding – direction.

The musicianship is breathtaking in scope, as is the energy and imagination that they have brought to playing . It’s very obvious that this is a band who can take an idea and give it life. If relevance in the modern world was their goal then they achieved it, and more. If musical reinvention was elevated to an art form then Department S would be on the receiving end of a Turner


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