Album review: Public Service Broadcasting, “Every Valley”

by Jon E. Lynch

Public Service Broadcasting, “Every Valley”Available: Friday July 7 via Play It Again Sam as a download on various formats (MP3, WAV, FLAC), compact disc, and standard black LP. Also available in a limited-edition Clear Vinyl bundle directly from the label.

I was probably more excited for this release than I should have been. After a fulfilling release in 2015’s “The Race for Space,” I was anxious for a follow-up. That first introduction was an album that melded actual audio from various mission control footage with swelling, ambient, orchestral rock and post rock. It was both interesting and entertaining. Many must have thought so, as a remix album aptly titled “The Race for Space/Remixes” was released just over a year ago.

The full-length follow-up, “Every Valley,” is an exploration of the rise and fall of the coal industry in a very specific Welsh Valley (see what they did there?) from the 1950s through the 1990s. It is a very personal album for the English three-piece comprised of J. Willgoose, Esq. on guitar, banjo, other stringed instruments, samplings, and electronic musical instruments, Wrigglesworth on drums, piano and electronic musical instruments, and J F Abraham on flugelhorn, bass guitar, drums and assorted other instruments including a vibraslap. The trio enlists the help of Tracyanne Campbell from Camera Obscura on the lead single, “Progress,” and while her vocals are more than welcome, it still manages to feel out of place within the mix of found sounds and grandiose instrumentation. It’s my sincerest hope that after repeated listens, it gels into a more comprehensive record.

Recommended for fans of Kraftwerk, Mogwai, Negativland, The Evolution Control Committee, or moments of Explosion in the Sky.

— Jon E. Lynch[email protected]

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