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Lost At Sea Review Public Service Broadcast #1

Good music is certainly delivered

Do It Yourself compilations usually exist for a very clever theme or reason. London based record label Smalltown America sticks to the theme that "Good music needs to be heard- that’s the bottom line". Speaking of the bottom line- selling enough of the first installment to warrant releasing a sequel would be a definite plus as well. True to it's name, Public Service Broadcast #1 proposes to show off some new talent in order to continue the series. None of the artists appearing on the compilation benefit financially from its sale. Smalltown America aims to perpetuate their ability to get new music heard with, well, good music. That's a crusade I can certainly get behind.

With its 23 tracks, 'Public Service Broadcast #1' is a mélange of styles, qualities, genres and mixes both signed and unsigned acts. Highlights include The Red Letter Code and their track "Rebirth". The unsigned RLC take their rock with punk influences and strong female vocals. Anna sings, "I love that you hate me", without sounding bitter or cliché, just plain honest. Tybalt with their track "Gestures are Shallow" sound like rock being smiled upon by the ghost of the Pixies. The bands Lomax and Dead or American bring the politically charged quotient to the record, and they bring it well.

The Warren Commission contributes sugary indie-girl-pop taken with a grain of salt with their track "Minute Murder". Taken from their stateside Espo records release "Tricked by Cleverness", lyrics like "It’s worse sometimes/ When all your thoughts collide", add a comfortable substance to the compilation. Mixing post-grunge rock and power-pop in just the right measure to rock my socks, Solanoid rocks out with "January 14th". The catchy vocal hook of the line "You are a star" had me singing along the first time through. It wouldn't quite seem like the early twenty-first century if Emo, too, didn't find its place. Bareface bring the emo-core with their track "Restless", but it’s the emo-pop of Ipanema that wins the better emo battle. Just imagine this little reviewer bopping her head along as the band calls out "She’s in my skull" repeatedly in happy-sunny style.

'Public Service Broadcast #1' is far from a cohesive record, but the variance of acts and sounds is one of its strong points. Just about anyone should be able to find at least one band or song to sink their teeth into, which is about all anyone can realistically expect from a compilation. And for a DIY record, it truly manages to stick to its claim: good music is certainly delivered. For a measly £5 (that’s a bit under $9 US) 'Public Service Broadcast #1' should be included in your next compilation music buying binge. Let's see what Smalltown America can do with 'Public Service Broadcast #2'.

- Natalie B. David, Lost At Sea