Public Service Broadcasting is a London band comprised of just 3 multi-instrumentalists, and their sound I could probably best describe as Pop Post-Rock. Not like the popular bands like GY!BE or Sigur Ros, but they mix Pop melodies with the typical instrumental Post-Rock crescendos and atmosphere. It’s all an usual mix, and the album never gives you time to settle down too much – it shakes the bag with every song. It makes for a very enjoyable listen, but I’ll have to see if it holds up to repeat listens.
The opener Every Valley starts the album off with a clear Post-Rock feel, with an obvious strong influence from Hanz Zimmer. The vocal samples are old interviews with a miner, talking about how everyone in the town aspired to be a miner like him. The album is peppered with quotes like these, odd statements and reflections that are meant to stir you. All the quotes they use are from Public Information channels – either TV or radio programs. It makes for a strange and eerie feeling, but also one of nostalgia as these people describe their past. Suddenly they switch up to a tropical fun beat with People Will Always Need Coal, and this is the first major genre shift so far on the album. They bring in synths more and more as the album progresses, but sticking with the Pop melodies.
Another shift with the Hard Rock Turn No More which features singer James Dean Bradfield – the only time they have singers on this album is through features. They change it up again with the smooth love song You + Me which features another signer – Lisa Jên Brown, singing in Dutch. If all the curveballs weren’t enough, they deliver one final one with Take Me Home. A choir of men sing acapella, and it’s really quite enchanting, and an interesting way to end the album. Listening back to this album again I think about how they chose the vocal samples they did, and why. If you’re not a fan of these samples then you’re just not going to the like the band. I do, so I had a lot of fun discovering this album and it might make it to my “top of 2017” list.