As hostile as their silver screen namesake, The Departed are all about fast melodic hardcore. After being recently signed to UK independent label Lockjaw Records, their latest release ‘Remnants’ is an eruption of energy, aggression, and heavy, heavy noise.
On paper, ‘Remnants’ ticks all the boxes, unfortunately, when you actually sit down and listen to it, it does little more than that. The Departed are clearly influenced by the likes of Comeback Kid, Bane etc, but rather than using them as inspiration, it seems like they have settled contentedly upon being an average imitation. The first three tracks are lifted straight off a This Is Hell record, and do nothing other than what you have learned to expect from a hardcore record. ‘Broactive’ in particular, complete with group chants of “Stay true, stay proud”, accurately placed breakdowns, and a love affair with the double bass pedal, gives little room or evidence of originality.
One thing that can be said about The Departed, though, is they exude passion right from the get go. With a Frank Carter-esque lilt, the vocals are strong and gritty throughout, kind of like a British Independent film. ‘Interlude’ is a particularly high point on the EP, opening with the vocalist growling like an empty stomach in the background as two guitars chime tentatively towards a big build-up. With a slower pace than the other tracks, gradually building towards a full, heavy sound rather than diving straight in to it, ‘Interlude’ is the saving grace of ‘Remnants’. The EP actually takes a turn for the better after this.
‘Three Six Five’ follows on from ‘Interlude’, kicking in with a weighty drum roll which leaps into a fast, energetic track, like a sharp intake of breath before letting out a huge scream. There isn’t much to be said about ‘Sleep All Day, Party All Night, Grow Old, Never Die’ other than it begins with a sample of Keifer Sutherland’s poignant speech about vampirism from The Lost Boys, and continues lyrically in a similar theme, concluding with (Not Another Group Chant!) “Everybody make some noise, tonight let’s get destroyed.”
‘Remnants’ has all the components of a good hardcore record, just as The Departed have all the components of a good hardcore band. Unfortunately, there is nothing in this EP that indicates much originality or progression. ‘Remnants’ is a pirated copy of everything melodic hardcore achieved at least five years ago. After the first three tracks, you can get into the swing of it a bit, but in all honesty, why bother when you could just put on American Nightmare’s ‘Background Music’ and enjoy a more accomplished version of what The Departed have aimed for.
'Remnants' by The Departed is available now on Lockjaw Records.
The Departed on MySpace