For anyone with even a passing interest in Brighton’s music scene, the faces that make up Public Body’s press shots will likely be familiar. What people will be less accustomed to however is seeing them all together.
Consisting of members from local heroes including Birdskulls, The New Tusk and Broadbay, there is a decent level of prestige in the new quartet. Add to that the fact their debut, self-titled EP is due to come out via Hanger Records, a more recent Brighton-based initiative run by the old drummer from The New Tusk, Nick Wells, and the band stands as a true amalgamation of the city’s current rock collective.
Given their roots in variations of garage rock, it comes as a slight surprise then when the band’s debut single, “Talking Show”, and the rest of the EP turns out to be a straight-up post-punk/art-rock release. Jittery, anxious and definitive in its delivery, there are clear allusions to acts such as Parquet Courts, though it is with Omni that the closest parallels can be drawn. The detached, almost arrogant stance on the lead single is compelling, vocalist Seb Gilmore intentionally dislocating himself from the situation via lyrics such as the repeated: “Now I’m switching off, now I’m switching off”.
Emphasised by the erratic instrumentation at play throughout, it is this feeling of isolation as well as brain-numbing boredom that defines the four tracks on show. “Hard To Concentrate” requires no degree of meta analysis, but is a killer tune comprised of some seriously tight melodies and progressions. Distracted and disinterested, the band do a solid job at making a lack of focus an engaging song topic.
Unfortunately, the nuances that elevate the first two tracks are partially lost on the second half of the EP, “Office Environment” in particular a messy listen. Upping the anxiety in their playing and adding some industrial elements to the mix, the band lose some of the sheen to their sound, the result a less clean and impactful end to Public Body than it began.
Regardless, Public Body have put together a short, sharp debut EP, defined by its similarly short and sharp guitar melodies and vocals. The band take no compromises with their style, revelling in their direct approach and adding to the seemingly endless stream of quality acts calling the south coast their home.