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Advance Review - Public Practice - "Distance is a Mirror"

(Photo Credit - Colin Sussingham and Josie Keefe)

Distance is a Mirror is the debut EP for New York-based band Public Practice. It will be released October 26th on Wharf Cat. The band consists of singer Sam York, guitarist Vince McClelland, synth/bassist and vocalist Drew Citron, and drummer/programmer and producer Scott Rosenthal. What grabbed my attention instantly was three main things: York's punk voice, the variety of the guitar, and the intellectual basis of the lyrics. That said, let's break it down track by track:

1. "Fate/Glory" - listeners get a very stereotypical punk song, but it is also our first introduction to York's voice. Dry, smooth, and strong are how I would describe it. She doesn't really use any dynamics, but she relies on the lyrics and backing music to sell her message. Her faith in these two pieces really gives the song more power as a punk song because it sounds like she could care less. She's doing this because she can.

2. "Bad Girls" - we get very feminist movement involved lyrics. York is proclaiming she will not fit this "ideal" of womanhood, and that doesn't make her any less womanly. "Don't place your shame on me" is one of the key lyrics in this track. This song also features an awesome guitar interlude. It goes from light to heavy within a matter of seconds.

3. "Foundation" - I think is this band's best piece lyrically. It is quite deep. It begins with a spacy guitar sound and fades into a funk rhythm. It seems the lyrics are comparing us with houses. We can dress up the outside of an old house, but what is the point if the foundation has gone bad? Who will fix the foundation? Mentions of illness and sick are throughout the song, which makes me wonder if this is about mental health or something bigger. Either way, it is a compelling piece.

4."Into the Ring" - it contains great imagery and even the music supports the idea that a fight is occurring with a nice bell ring once in a while. The idea of this song is that every once in a while, you "gotta let them fight it out."

Closing Thoughts - "Foundation" is the best piece on this EP, and while I find this album interesting to listen to, I feel unsatisfied with the range of dynamics both vocally and instrumentally. Perhaps, over time, they will grow more bold with their musicality like they have with their songwriting.

Rating - 3/5

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