Public Service Broadcasting - ABC2, Glasgow, Wed 8 May 2013
An overwhelming visual spectacle outshines the electronic duo's music
This article is from 2013.
Despite having only released their debut album Inform Educate Entertain two days prior to this gig, the London-based duo have already started to gather a steady cult following due to a slew of well received EPs and heavy exposure on BBC 6 Music. The overwhelming visual spectacle and unique vibe of soundbites versus hazy guitar electronica captivates throughout their hypnotic live performances. Blending a barrage of lo-fi guitar abrasion with familiar AV samples from black and white propaganda films and old radio broadcasts is certainly a bold move from an outfit who display no affection for vocal melodies throughout their set. Instead their experimental use of samples attempts to convey certain themes, focusing on war and industry, but at times there's a lack of any sort of trajectory to tie them together - almost like a Pathé news reel evoked through a Timothy Leary-esque stream of consciousness - but with fairly arbitrary, less ponderous results. Despite the more cynical aspects, there are moments which recall Cut Chemist and DJ Shadow's more meticulous cut and paste jams, coupled with the familiar sounds of Spiritualized on tracks such as 'Spitfire' and the relentless 'Signal 30'. Yet with the visual angle playing such an overzealous and complimentary role, which often leaves the music playing second fiddle at times, one can't help but wonder how the band's material would stand up on its own merits.