Review: Public Service Broadcasting – Every Valley
Public Service Broadcasting’s third album discusses the rise and fall of Welsh coalmining – sounds a little niche? Reviewer Aaron Jackson begs to differ.
I am not one of those who think that music and politics shouldn’t mix. When music doesn’t comment, it turns into X-Factor: fast-food sugar-rush karaoke pap to take you from work to the weekend and back again without you ever needing to think, feel, or shake your booty. But I’m not a fan of sloganeering. Give me ‘Palaces of Gold’ over 1976-as-ground-zero-shouty-shouty-mcshout-face stylings any day. This brings me neatly to Public Service Broadcasting’s Every Valley. I approached it with trepidation. A concept album about the decline and destruction of the Welsh mining industry standing as metaphor for modern politics, social dislocation and community fragmentation? Please God, no. This shows how wrong your reviewer can be on occasion, folks. Put simply, this is the best album I’ve heard this year by some considerable distance.
It’s bold, symphonic, and stirring; a mournful elegy that boils into an anthemic impassioned panegyric. The songs, since you ask, are uniformly stunning. This is everything guitar music can be when they’re wielded by those who know they can get beyond the clichés. How good is it? I’ve handed in my review copy, and bought my own. It’s that good.
Can’t get enough PBS? Check out our interview here.
Every Valley is released on 7th July.