Archive 2003-2006 as the title suggests, isn’t the follow up to 2008’s excellent In Ear Park, which is good, because otherwise you’d probably be disappointed. A collection of tunes and, well, scribbles that may or may not have become fuller songs (they apparently have, including Grizzly Bear’s ‘Easier’, otherwise the inclusion of these “sketches” would seem like it was nothing more than filler, and that wouldn’t do, right?) that Fred Nicoluas (who sounds like he’s related to Father Christmas) and Dan Rossen put together between the years 2003-2006, as the title may suggest. So far, so contractual obligation. Obviously Grizzly Bear’s newfound success is keeping Mr Rossen far too busy to actually record anything new.
Anyway, it’s not as bad as all that. DOE have a sound, and it’s a rolling, barrelhouse, semi-Victorian-musichall, Ram-era McCartney meets medicated David Crosby on the way to the spooky state fair encamped by the lake where the sexy teens went missing kind of jig. It’s never without it’s charms, and suffices as more than just Grizzly Bear’s less prosaic, more prozacic, darkly coutured cousin. It tells us nothing as to what the follow up to In Ear Park may actually sound like, other than it will probably sound very like Department of Eagles, but it’ll fill the gap for now.