MOJO | May 2013


Inform – Educate – Entertain Test Card. CD/LP

History-rocking London duo raid the archives.

When playing live, Public Service Broadcasting have a computer to make stage announcements; but rather than a cold robot voice, it’s a simulated Received Pronunciation radio presenter that tells the crowd they’re looking good. Such is the group’s Reithian, time-slipped world, which mainman J. Willgoose envisaged when hopped up on BFI Public information films. Overlaying adrenalised post-rock and electronics with sampled dialogue from movies of the ’30s to the ’50s may sound like a dry premise, but there is a strange and gripping transport to be had in these imaginative flights concerning climbing Mount Everest, the Luftwaffe-bashing Spitfire and, in the Kraftwerk-in-a-garden-shed banjo clap-along ROYGBIV, the glories of science (are PSB driven by bygone but benign, pipe-smoking idea of manliness that seems so out dated it’s become avant-garde?). File admiringly next to British Sea Power and the Hauntologist tendency.

Ian Harrison