Four years in the making, Public Service Broadcasting‘s debut LP follows the release of a number of brilliant singles and EPs. ‘Inform-Educate-Entertain’ is a superb representation of what the duo do, live drums and voice samples from old films being their trademarks.
The opening title track provides a good tone setter, preparing the listener for the journey with little previews of what’s to come, before the excellent ‘Spitfire’ sets motorik rhythms and lively guitar lines to dialogue from a 1940’s war movie. ‘Theme From PSB’ throws some surprising banjo and ukulele into the mix, and vintage road rage finds its way into the hard rocking full throttle drive of ‘Signal 30’. ‘Night Mail’ takes a graceful, scenic train journey through crashing post-rock moods and dramatic analogue synth and the pretty ‘Qomolangma’ is a brief moment to relax after the record’s first half.
‘ROYGBIV’ pairs more banjo with laid back disco rhythms and more atmospheric keys, while ‘The Now Generation’ demonstrates their fondness for retro electronics. ‘Lit Up’ is beautiful, spacious and simple, and the wonderfully arranged ‘Everest’ is an appropriately panoramic moment with epic, soaring chords and a infectious synth hook. ‘Late Night Final’ closes the album in a bleak, almost trip-hop fashion with haunting horns building throughout.
It’s a unique record that takes you on a journey through the past while sounding fresh and innovative enough to place in firmly in the present.