Being based in the no man's land of inequity that is Leicester probably gives Public Relations Exercise more reasons than most to be pissed off. And boy are they pissed... with just about everything.
This isn't so much teenage angst but the bottled-up contents of a ten-year stretch which would give most people a midlife crisis by the time they hit 25. What makes Come You Are Safe, We Are From The Bombs slightly more eloquent and dare I say it, accessible, from the rest of the post-hardcore noise contingent is the fact that underneath all the raging larynx shredding and shard splintering riffs, lies a band whose sound isn't quite as clearly defined as one would expect.
Sure, the main influences were probably gathered via Stateside plug-ins of discs from the likes of At The Drive-In and Glassjaw, but at the same time there are elements of Radiohead-like grandiosity and MBV-esque inventiveness that lifts Public Relations Exercise away from the conveyor belt formula of their contemporaries.
Having already been quoted as saying this record is "our _Shape Of Punk To Come”, Public Relations Exercise hop between boundaries like a bewildered kangaroo caught between the outback and highway. There are elements of subtlety and savage ferocity in equal measures - occasionally during the same song ('Parallax Error') - while screamer-in-chief Martin Smith's vocal outbursts punctuate each fired-up decibel with feelings of outrage ("We are an eyesore to think we represent everything") to twinges of apathy ("We are doomed to fail"_) and beyond.
The highlight of the album is undoubtedly 'Catalyst', which sounds immeasurably radio-friendly but still carries a underlying sense of powercut-in-the-basement darkness through its cutting slices of dual guitar riffs and coarse lyrical sentiments ("Wrong time, right idea, right place, wrong ears..."). If there was to be a single taken from Come You Are Safe... this would undoubtedly be it, but then for a band like Public Relations Exercise, releasing singles for the sanctity of the marketing men isn't exactly in line with their idealistic approach.
Come You Are Safe, We Are From The Bombs is pretty much the record we'd all come to expect from an outfit as uncompromising and inventive as Public Relations Exercise, which only goes to show that the derelict dungeon of despair known as Leicester does have something to offer after all.
7Dom Gourlay's Score