Departure Lounge

SXSW Records

Phases and Stages

Departure Lounge

Too Late to Die Young (Nettwerk)

It's not usually considered kosher to review an artist's work solely by comparing it to that of other acts, but when the band in question makes a point of tearing pages from the History of Pop and pinning them proudly to their sleeves, they make themselves fair game. Not that there's anything wrong with pastiche -- it's an art form unto itself and perfectly acceptable as long as the band doesn't lose its own identity. Tim Keegan and his partners in Departure Lounge succeed in retaining a sense of self, but it's the not-so-subtle appropriations from others that make Too Late to Die Young the marvelous good time it is. You've gotta Love a title like "Alone Again, And..." (as must Arthur Lee), and who could keep from cracking a smile at "Tubular Belgians in My Goldfield," especially when the Lounge do such a fine job of taking the best elements of Mike Oldfield (duh) and making them their own. And unlike the Orb, they manage to pull it off inside of 10 minutes! Then there's "Over the Side," a hilariously on-target broadside charge on the lush downer anthems of the Beautiful South, plus "Straight Line to the Kerb," which straddles the line between a moody version of Dream Academy and Morrissey without the implied self-absorption. The flights of fancy coming out of the Departure Lounge will have you coming back often enough to earn some serious frequent-flyer miles. (Friday, March 15, Austin Music Hall, 8pm)


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