The Joup Friday Album: The Radio Dept: Clinging To A Scheme

“People see rock n’ roll as youth culture, and when the youth culture becomes monopolized by big business what are the youth to do? Do you have any idea? I think we should destroy the bogus capitalist system that is destroying youth culture.” As a 16 year old who had been getting deeper and deeper into the world of music, hearing that quote (Spoken by Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth) and the music that followed is the kind of moment that sticks with any music fan. Hearing a song that is so damn perfect, so well written, means so much to you at that time that it sticks with you forever; that you never want it to end. That’s the experience I have anytime I hear the second track on this record: “Heaven’s On Fire.” The entirety of The Radio Dept’s third record Clinging To A Scheme  (2010) is just as joyful of an experience.

For those of you reading this wondering who the hell The Radio Dept are, they are an indie band from Sweden who have actually been around since 1995 but have only released three proper studio LP’s and a good handful of singles. Even though their discography is short, it is most certainly sweet. The only way I can describe their sound is basically imagine that The Jesus and Mary Chain and Belle and Sebastian are having a jam session and have also decided to throw some dub, electronic, and ambient elements into their music. Hopefully I have sold you on wanting to listen to The Radio Dept just based on that description alone.


Over the course of Clinging to A Scheme‘s short 35 minute time frame, the band demonstrates what has made them such a great and interesting voice in the world of Indie rock. From the beautiful dance pop of the aforementioned “Heaven’s On Fire” to the dub reggae of “Never Follow Suit” to the close-out, shoegaze infused pop of “David” there’s so much ground that is covered and so many audiences that can be reached in the short time span of this record. The caliber of great song writing on this album just makes the fact that The Radio Dept have been pretty much dormant since the release of this album even more of a tragedy. Here’s to hoping that these guys put out another collection of tunes this great sooner rather than later.

Clinging To A Scheme by The Radio Dept is music for the musically obsessed. It’s the type of album that can soundtrack various points of one’s life. From spending some reflective time alone to bringing back fond memories of people and times in your life. It’s the type of record you burn for that girl in high school you have a huge crush on, and the type of record that you play while spending time with people that mean the world to you. That’s what Clinging To A Scheme has been for me; what it still is for me five years since it came out. Hopefully it will for you too….

And as always, if you dig this record, support the artists and purchase it!

I tag Tommy, because your name is kool.

Daniel R. Fiorio

Writer, blogger, record collector/music fanatic, comic book junkie, jerkstore/all around nice dude from the south suburbs of Chicago

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