Public Service Broadcasting – The Race For Space // Album Review

88221Test Card – out now

Given their specific, perhaps limited, shtick of crafting songs around vintage audio clips, PSB faced a challenge in kicking things on from their hit 2013 debut. Their solution is this concept album about the Cold War clash for celestial supremacy, facilitated by access to rare BFI footage. Yet the band’s ambient electro-rock leans too heavily on the gravitas of the archive speech, and serves mainly as thematic backing despite instrumental and choral boosts to the guitar, drums and sequencer template. Tracks achieving lift-off include ‘E.V.A’, whose fusion funk bookends a vertiginous evocation of a space walk, and the rocket- propelled ‘Go!’, in which NASA chat is smartly synced into a motorik pulse. Otherwise, PSB make do with only staring at the stars.

Buy: Public Service Broadcasting – The Race For Space

Live: Roundhouse – May 7th