Publicist UK is a new band that features members of many different metal and hard rock bands trying their hand at gloomy post-punk. Forgive Yourself, their debut full-length, is a solid first effort that shows these musicians have a firm grasp on the genre they are infiltrating, while also adding enough heavy parts to keep things interesting.
The songs feature dark and spacey guitar throughout most verses and choruses. The band also throws in some heavy power chord sections to break up the trance like qualities with some head banging moments. This is done exceptionally well in “Levitate The Pentagon,” where powerful and ominous choruses lead into epic guitar riffs, and eventually into spoken word style verses backed by soft guitar and rolling drums. Other songs like “Blood Relative” put the gloom front and center throughout most of the track until they build up and let loose towards the end. The band also pulls in some female guest vocals in “Telegraphing” to add even more diversity to their sound.
The vocals are generally consistently monotone and ominous throughout, but some songs, like “Canary” change that up and add depth. The lyrics are just as gloomy, and nowhere are they better than on closing track “Away.” It’s hard to tell if they are going for shock value or just writing what comes naturally when singing “You say, ‘suck Satan’s cock’ like it’s a bad thing / like it’s evil to be kind / when the devil never hurt nobody who wasn’t already left behind.” But whether for shock or not, the lyrics are consistently just as dark as the music, which brings everything together nicely.
Its great going back and listening to the members’ other bands to really hear the differences with what they’ve done here. The way everyone brings their various influences into a new sound is an awesome accomplishment. Most members have been in grindcore or thrash bands of some kind, so hearing the slower and less distorted guitars mix with the at times pulsating, at times tribal, but always excellent drumming really adds to the appreciation I have grown for this album.
This is a great debut for a new band made up of seasoned veterans of the scene. The fact that this seems to be the first time many of them have tried their hands at post-punk just adds to the accomplishment of releasing something this great. They lay down a terrific post-punk foundation, but also add their own flavor to every song. I’m excited to see where they take this project in the future.