All it takes is 3 chords and a dream!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Review: Please Dept. - Vomit Of Light

Please Dept. - Vomit Of Light
2009, Please Dept.

It's been over twenty years since They Might Be Giants started escaping the bounds of New York City via calls to their Dial-A-Song service, but their influence isn't forgotten in the borough of Brooklyn, where Matt Harty (drums) and Chris Hembree (broken Casio keyboard) toil away creating homemade recordings under the name Please Dept. The duo has been together since 2002, creating quirky, witty tunes and playing along the way with bands such as Of Montreal, Dan Deacon and Kimya Dawson. Please Department's fourth album, Vomit Of Light, continues the tradition of musical madness across eight tracks of sonic madness.

Vomit Of Light opens with Lesson Learned, a recount of a run-in with the legal system that takes on angry undertones as the song grinds to an eventual halt. Fans of They Might Be Giants will get right on board, although Please Dept. has a slightly darker feel than John & John. Baptist Party is built around some particularly disturbed keyboard progressions, like a dark dream involving The Beatles, the Munchkins from the Wizard of Oz and more illegal substances than most people know exist. Pretty Sorry Find continues the madness with a monologue that is as confusing lyrically as it is sonically. The end result is a humorous and entertaining piece of performance art as music. Bags Of Drugs is an addictive tune built on a quirky melody set to a repetitive and rhythmic arrangement that sounds like the soundtrack to a horror movie played on children's instruments. I'm On The Roof is my personal favorite track on Vomit Of Light, having one of those melodies that dogs you for days until you listen to something equally as infectious (and usually vaguely annoying) to drive it from your mind. Musically it might have the highest level of sanity on the disc but retains the gleefully maniacal quirkiness that drives the best of Please Dept.'s songs. Vomit Of Light closes out with God Don't, burrowing deeper into madness in semi-delusional prayer set to music.

Please Dept. travels the same musical path on Vomit Of Light as early They Might Be Giants but with a much darker side than the John's ever displayed. Please Dept. wallows in madness, using humor juxtaposed with dark overtones to tell tales of not quite coping with the moment. Artistically it's interesting, and there is a certain humor, or at least quirk factor to the music, but it was a little too dark for my taste. Perhaps if They Might Be Giants had their material written by Robert Smith they might have sounded like Please Dept.

Rating: 2.5 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about Please Dept. at or You can purchase a download of Vomit Of Light from

No comments: