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Album #271: Public Practice – Gentle Grip

  • Released: 2020
  • Origin: New York City, USA
  • Label: Wharf Cat
  • Best Track: Moon

I’ve been meaning to listen to this debut for a while, and finally gave it a play this week.

It’s a unusual album. Opening track ‘Moon’ is superbly murky and atmospheric, but it turns out to something of a false dawn, with what follows being a lot more pop-oriented. Make no mistake, this is definitely post-punk, but with elements of new wave that give certain tracks a definite dancy vibe – most notably ‘Disposable’ and ‘My Head’ – helped by Sam York’s tuneful vocals.

In other parts, it’s reassuringly claustrophic and downbeat, with ‘Compromised’ being a highlight, and ‘Understanding’ capturing the dryness and minimalism of Wire.

Credit to Public Practice for taking a few risks on this debut. As post-punk goes, it’s pretty ambitious, and the album is definitely a grower – in fact I don’t think it’s finished growing on me.

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