The Departed - Steal The Crown (Acuity Music)

The Departed – Steal The Crown (Acuity Music)

So, my first article didn’t earn me eviction from God Is In The Tv Zine for which I am profoundly grateful, so it looks like I have lived to write another day! Incidentally did you know that the word editor originates from the ancient Roman gladiatorial arenas, it was the name given to the designated official who in the absence of the emperor would decide the fate of a fallen gladiator.

This little point of interest has bearing on the album that I will be reviewing today, Steal The Crown by the hard-core punk outfit from Grimsbury, The Departed. The cracked eye of my broken T.V gazes blindly over the ruins of the room, the neighbours are bashing at my walls complaining about the loud music and I’m clutching my chest on the floor with the distinct worry that I may be going in to cardiac arrest any minute.

Thirty minutes and fifty one seconds of listening to The Departed’s newest offering will do this to you. You’ve been warned, to quote the lyrics at the start of track nine Fools Will Follow ‘like lambs to the slaughter…’ this record is not for the feint hearted. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though in this day and age where everything is MP3s and downloads, I am still a sucker for a good album cover, even if it is now a pixelated avatar.

The cover initially caught my eye, a dystopian, nightmarish image three looming sinister beings one wearing a crown, the ceremonial headdress of the pope (a mitre) and the third is bare headed. Behind them is a burnt orange skyline and in the foreground, a hooded figure that at the same time gives the impression of both reaching for the crown and also recoiling from it. The prelude begins with a thought provoking spoken word monologue with atmospheric guitars and background sounds. The speech is provocative but very open to interpretation giving me faith in the lyrical content to come after falling in love with the cover artwork.

I won’t quote any of it as I can’t stand SPOILERS and I want you the listener to have the full feeling it inspired in me but I found it a very interesting piece of social and spiritual commentary. I get the feeling that this band are asking you to think for yourself as oppose to using the music as a platform to preach their own views too much. Now the onslaught begins with track 2 Faithless and doesn’t leave you a chance for respite until the last dying guitar chord of closer track 12, Steal The Crown. Faithless has been up on the band’s bandcamp for a little while and is a fearless start to the album with the added bonus of them having posted the lyrics up on the for mentioned site, always a favourite of fans who want to delve as deeply as they can in to the bands they love.

Throughout this record there are the trademark grinding, chugging guitars and ferocious drums atypical of hardcore punk but rising out of the carnage occasionally are some great melodies and choruses with the vocals in the more melodic sections sometimes (and I might be on my own with this one) sounding a bit like Wade from the fantastic now defunct Alexisonfire. There are also whiffs of Come Back Kid and also a more underground band called Broken Jaw. If anything I wish there were slightly longer lasting choruses in places but then that is just a sign of a good chorus more than anything. A stand out track for me is track eight’s 15 Minutes Fame which I took to be a cynical look at our culture and our parasites… I mean celebrities but hey I could be wrong (I jest of course… I’m never wrong).

For the last two tracks there are some fine guest vocals from James Dexter of the band Demoraliser on the album’s title track Steal the Crown and Pay No Repect’s Joe Kenney which finishes the album off nicely and offers more proof that the hardcore punk scene is a very close knit community. I wouldn’t really know as I have had no friends since I took up writing, I just spend each day locked away in a room chained to a typewriter… oh no I’ve said too much…

From the beginning of time mankind has needed a release valve, a way to just let it all out sometimes, from watching gladiators battle it out to the death in ancient arenas to the modern day youtube phenomenon with countless street fights and acts of violence uploaded every day. We as a species are very voyeuristic and constantly in need of that release from the toil of our everyday lives.

The Departed’s new album Steal The Crown out now on digital release only through European label, Acuity Music offers that release, whether it is beholding the fury of their live show or just listening to it at home after another sickening day of your nose being pressed to grindstone. Escapism they offer but also if you listen a bit closer, maybe they are asking you to consider why you feel that way in the first place. To quote their song Faithless ‘the only faith we have is in ourselves’.


God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.