Review: Department of Eagles, Archive 2003-2006

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A while ago I came to the conclusion that decent bands always have an unusual story behind their beginnings. Daniel Rossen (later to be of Grizzly Bear) and Fred Nicolaus met by chance when they were assigned as each other’s roommates in college and decided to start jamming together one spring.
Fortuitously, this recorded material later came across the path of a Californian label and the Department of Eagles’ debut album The Cold Nose was born. Between that time in history and the release of their highly revered second LP, In Ear Park, Department of Eagles did a lot of messing around in university practice rooms, among other places I’m sure. Archive 2003-2006 is a collection of these tracks.
Honestly, apart from track titles such as “Practice Room Sketch 1”, you’d never know this was an album comprised of tracks that wouldn’t have otherwise seen the light of day. Each track is a whimsical little journey unique in and of itself. Take the track “Flip”, for example. At first a seemingly sweet song, it flips (see what I did there) into a badass rock-out. And it works. Archive 2003-2006 is an incredibly solid album and is sure to have all the indie hipsters drooling from their pierced mouths.

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