Public Relations Exercise are a Leicester based 5 piece. Having played every toilet venue through out this fair land Public Relations Exercise have built up a loyal, gig-committed and record buying fan base plus playing with the likes of Winnebago Deal, 65 days of Static, Hell is for Heroes, Million Dead, Reuben and Part Chimp their reputation has been building like a big "headliner-decapitating" snowball.
Relentless and refreshing; the band play an intelligent mix of post hardcore with Math-rock and Screamo overtones. Musically based around inventive rhythms, discordant guitars, layered with penetrative and equally catchy vocals. The band's sound has been likened to At The Drive-in and The Blood Brothers, but those pigeon holes are just a crow-barred attempt to sum-up this genuinely fresh and exciting music.
After a handful of consistently compelling and talked about live performances the band were first noticed by independent label Small Town America and they placed the floor shattering "Catalyst" on bi-yearly "Public Service Broadcast" (#7) Compilation which gained them both great reviews and a torrent of requests from promoters wanting to put the band on at their shows. This release was soon followed up with their first Vinyl release 'Sub10' (June 2006) released via Field Records and a UK tour with ex-Million Dead front man Frank Turner, bringing their music to a new audience and to the forefront of the UK's underground scene.
Now Public Relations Exercise have their first full LP ready and due for release on the 2nd April 2007 again through the mighty Field Records and distribution via Cargo records, This monstrous 11-headed hydra is called "Come You Are Safe We Are From The Bombs" and the Band are currently gearing up to force this LP down any unfortunate passing throat(s) for the rest of 2007, in the meantime regular articles in UK music press Rocksound Magazine and Drowned in Sound have helped to maintain the bands profile on the underground scene and now the wheels of the Public Relations Exercise beast are oiled and ready to envelop any and all in it's path
Combining a highly flammable Molotov cocktail of Blood Brothers-esque schizophrenic hardcore and gloriously f*cked up At The Drive-In off-kilter leanings; Leicester based five-piece Public Relations Exercise have turned many a head in recent times thanks to a series of captivating shows with the likes of 65daysofstatic, Winnebago Deal and Hell Is For Heroes. Arriving after a string of well-received singles, Come You Are Safe We Are From The Bombs is the band's startling debut album, an album that's destined to ensure that their star rises even higher in the near future. The tranquil build up of 'Maximiser Co-ordinator' kicks things off before it eventually bursts into a racing mix of math-rock guitars and unhinged yelps. The superb 'Catalyst' follows suit, stepping in at a startling pace before exploding into a deliriously brilliant chorus with vocalist Martin Smith wailing like a crazed banshee. It's Smith's unique delivery that truly elevates Public Relations Exercise above the crowd of other post-hardcore acts around at the moment, with his unpredictable vocal gymnastics - delivered in a manner not seen since Glassjaw's Daryl Palumbo - leaving the listener frequently amazed. Elsewhere, the remarkable quality never relents for one second, be it the winding roads of 'Sub 10 part', the fantastic guitar work of Blanco or the brilliant 'This is the Sort of Question I'm Usually Afraid to Ask', which starts off innocuously enough before transforming into a spectacularly intense beast of a track.
As debut albums go, it doesn't get much more monstrously unhinged than Come You Are Safe We Are From The Bombs, and for all those who like their music abstract and challenging, it's an album that highly likely to be one of the best discoveries of 2007.
Rating: 4/5 by Dan Jones
PUBLIC RELATIONS EXERCISE - Come You Are Safe We Are From The Bombs (Field) More of that relentless refreshing post-hardcore post-rock post-post post-everything urgent noise that PRE do so very very well. They've been building and building, we've been telling you about the gigs and demos for quite a time now (one day you'll thank us) and you will in time come to love their invigorating inventive relentless edgy screaming energy and the violent musical craft of it all. They're from Leicester, there's five of them, they're brilliant live and now they have an excellent high speed roller-coaster ride of a compelling debut album to back the live experience up. Inventively discordant, relentlessly in your face and confronting your every thought, this is not a comfortable sound and you should find comfort in that. We have ourselves a thankless task, go enjoy the Public Relations Exercise ride, don't take anyone or anything for granted, it don't make for good public relations Scissormen I tell you! Hold on tight. Thank you.
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.
Dom Gourlay 7/10
Drowned in Sound
The sound of breaking glass that signals the start of the debut fulllength album from this Leicester band is pretty much the best marker of what to expect from the 31 minutes of belligerent sonic battering that follows. At their best, on the likes of 'Interface! Interface!' and 'Dragon Claw', the spasmodic guitars, staccato rhythms and manically urgent vocals make PRE sound like a Mike Patton fronted Dillinger Escape plan while, elsewhere, the more straight-up likes of 'Blanko' prove they have more than one string to their bow. While at times the vocal style can grate, the overall sense of triumph without compromise.
Rock Sound Arpil 2007
Chris Hidden 7/10
8 / 10 TERRORIZER
You’re given exactly one minute of calm before the sound of breaking glass signals the shitstorm that’s about to ensue… SMAAAAASH! Opener “Maximiser Co-ordinator” erupts in a frenzy of convulsing limbs and snapped necks. The following salvo of tracks are positively dripping with rage, with singer Martin Smith spitting lines like “use the fuel from our fire to burn everything and everyone” with venomous aplomb. Despite such an aggressive start, P.R.E know when to break out the catchy riffs, as the chorus of “Catalyst” testifies to.
Okay, time to draw some comparisons – hints of Blood Brothers, The Fall of Troy and even Daughters are all discernible amongst the chaos, whilst traces of Isis’ post-rock/metal hybrid crop up during some of the album’s quieter moments – But narrowly avoiding the trap that snares so many bands of this ilk, P.R.E manage to come across as so much more than the sum of their parts.
Across these 11 tracks, as they stitch together a ramshackle patchwork of all the best elements of the last decade of rock music, they also forge a sound that is instantly recognisable as their own. This is partly down to the dual onslaught of guitarists Spencer and Lloyd, a pair whose style manages to be both intricate and complex yet utterly bludgeoning, akin to being kicked in the nuts by a fairy with a calculator.
However, it is the vocals - a maniacal cross between Chris Cornell, Cedric Bixler and some hysterical doomsday preacher - that give the band their defining stamp of originality. There isn’t the slightest risk of mistaking Public Relations Exercise for any of their peers (or predecessors) whilst Smith is contorting his vocal chords around the clatter of guitar, bass and drums.
This is a polished and unique record – and a huge step up from previous Public Relations Exercise efforts – simultaneously transmitting the energy of a thousand shows in a thousand towns. More please?