Publicist UK – Forgive Yourself

Publicist UK forgive Yourself album cover 2015

Publicist UK’s sound is not what I expected to hear when first seeing internet headlines of a group featuring bassist Brett Bamberger of Revocation and drummer Dave Witte formerly of Burnt by the Sun and currently Municipal Waste (among 2,000 other bands). I’ve listened to Forgive Yourself (Relapse Records) three times already today and I’m still slightly surprised by the sound. The compositions here are lush, moody, and at more often than not beautiful.

It’s the kind of music that the cool kids on college radio play while wearing obnoxious hats and chastising Interpol for “selling out.” And I like it. A lot.

Rounding out this supergroup is Goes Cube guitarist David Obuchowski and Freshkills vocalist Zachary Lipez. If you, like myself, are a fan of lower voice ranges, then you’ll be pleasantly surprised with Lipez’s haunting baritone. It alters from BauhausPeter Murphy to Joy Division’s Ian Curtis while also summoning sounds not unlike Type O Negative’s Peter Steele. Lipez has sounded strong on Freshkills releases, but here he sounds fully committed to the performance.

‘Blood Relative’ and ‘I Wish You’d Never Gone to School’ are world weary and almost shoegaze in nature. Think Deafheaven, but without the black metal edge. Music that can maintain its dark heart all the while remaining tuneful and soothing. Even old man Morrissey would nod his stubborn head to these songs.

Acting as counterbalance to the gloominess is a heavy guitar chug that wouldn’t be out of place on a Helmet record on tracks like ‘Slow Dancing to this Bitter Earth’ and ‘Levitate the Pentagon.’ ‘Away’ closes out the affair while making good use of that heavier dynamic and even throwing in some of Witte’s famous double kick-drums without feeling out of place.

When I cranked this album on my laptop the last thing I expected was the musical equivalent of Joy Division on a collision course with Cave In, but what a lovely wreck it turned out to be.

9.0/10

HANSEL LOPEZ

Publicist UK – Original Demo Recordings 7”

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Publicist UK are an intriguing combo which see Dave Witte (Discordance Axis, Municipal Waste drummer) joining forces with Revocation bassist Brett Bamberger and team up with Distant Correspondent’s David Obuchowski and former Fresh Kills mouthpiece Zachary Lipez.

It would be natural to expect pounding rhythms and adrenaline fuelled blasts, especially considering the rhythm section. Only that couldn’t be further from the agenda. Instead gothic post-punk is the order of the day, with the spectre of the late 70s looming largely over the two tracks present here. The sound of the band is decidedly British in its choice of influences, reeking of decaying Chameleons and Fields Of The Nephilim records. “I love it when you talk real politics!” Lipez pines like Andrew Eldritch reciting the works of Fredrik Engels.

Original Demo Recordings (Static Tension) is the kind of effort fans of recent death rock troubadours such as Beastmilk may lap up, although Publicist UK are more retrospective in their style and the reverb and treble heavy production; Spiralling melodies are interwoven amongst the effortless performance of Witte, who provides a solid backbone, largely sitting back to support the song. His pulsing sixteenths accenting every nuance of ‘Slow Dancing To This Bitter Earth’ while Lipez repeats the hypnotic mantra of a chorus over jangling riffs to great effect.

They also use the music as a platform to hit out at faux social rebellion. “Wave a red flag and decorate your handbag” snarls Lipez on the latter number, clearly using it to take a swipe at insincere political campaigners who do much complaining but little to change the systems in which they live.

Since this tempting morsel has been delivered, the group have taken up residence on Relapse Records and are working on a full length. Given the murky depths this release mines, it will be interesting to see if they can progress as strongly as they have started.

 

7.0/10

Publicist UK on Facebook

 

ROSS BAKER

 

Revocation/Municipal Waste form Death Rock side-project PUBLICIST UK and confirm limited edition 7″

Publicist UK, featuring Dave Witte (drums – Municipal Waste), Brett Bamberger (bass – Revocation), David Obuchowski (guitars – Goes Cube) and Zachary Lipez (vocals – Freshkills), have confirmed their debut release of a 7″ limited edition single, Original Demo Recordings.  

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The single features the songs ‘Slow Dancing To This Bitter Earth” and “Never Gone To School”, and will be released by Static Tension Recordings on 17 February 2015.

Most surprisingly, considering the day jobs of some of the members, there is nary a hint of distortion in the sound, with Publicist UK plying a Death Rock trade with strong Goth and Indie influences.

The band had never actually met prior to forming, nor had, apparently, discussed direction before writing the songs which will make up their as yet untitled debut album, released on Relapse in the Spring of 2015, with further details being announced in the new year.

 

 

Steve Tovey