As the drumbeat heralds the opening of ‘Bring Me the Head of Yuri Gagarin’, in a style reminiscent of a lo-fi Faith No More, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Public School Battalion are about to the live up to the aggressive nature of their name. However, whilst they may be christened after Kitchner’s brigade of public school recruits, their sound instantly mellows into a something that sounds vaguely reminiscent of early Pavement.
Somewhat of a Sheffield supergroup, PSB are made up of ex/current members of Fury of the Headteachers, Urgent Talk, Rotary Ten and Nat Johnson and the Figureheads. Despite the fact they’ve not even played a gig yet, the trio are beginning to cause more than a few murmurings with the release of their first demos.
‘..Gagarin’ is a melange of many styles and influences, but the joy comes from the off-kilter edginess; never quite knowing where they are going to go next. Their sound is tricky to pin down; bringing elements of their other projects to the table but never quite sounding like anything you’ve heard before.
‘Rotoscope’ has a subtle lilting beauty, gradually building upon layer on layer, before winding up to the finale; the chorus on repeat as the guitar whirs to a crescendo. The last track, ‘Or Young Ankles’, has a much more experimental flavour; overtones of Can seeping into the musical panorama.
If these initial tracks are anything to go by, Public School Battalion are a band to keep a close eye on. The 3 track demo is an impressive statement of intent.
Download the demos from http://publicschoolbattalion.bandcamp.com/