Test Dept. release new album, Disturbance

Test Dept have released their first new album in 21 years. Titled Disturbance, the album sees the band maintaining the protest roots of their work through their first period of activity during the ’80s and ’90s.

Ahead of its release, you can stream the album in full above, exclusively via tQ. “The mess we’re in now is unbelievable, hence the title,” says Test Dept’s Graham Cunnington of the themes explored on the album. “It’s disturbing in the extreme.”

The album’s roots lie in a project Test Dept undertook in 2010 involving their extensive archives of protest music. They wanted to sort through their old recordings to, as Cunnington puts it, “re-establish our history and get our music out there again.” This was after many of their 14 albums had gone out-of-press.

A film installation and live dates followed the return to Test Dept’s archives, and then the question of what music they would play during those shows came up. They set out reworking older material and working on new music, which makes up their first album since 1998’s Tactics For Evolution.

Cunnington says there’s a positive message to take from the new album, and that they are “trying to see something optimistic in the potential of building networks and in positive protest, instead of just rioting and looting. We wanted to show the possibility for change and escaping this scenario.”

One Little Indian released Disturbance on March 1, 2019. Order it here.