Another year, another masterpiece from Public Service Broadcasting.....
Again we have a concept album in the shape of Every Valley about the mining industry in South Wales. What I love about this band is while the sound is recognisable each album has it's own feel - The War Room was all about defiance, The Race for Space dealt in the euphoria of discovering the new and Every Valley is all resigned melancholy
As ever, the samples are perfectly thought out and fit the tracks seamlessly. Its no gimmick just another way to add words to a song. The difference this time around is the use of real vocalist which adds another layer to sound.
In Turn no More, we have James Dean Bradfield giving his usual passion to lyrics from a welsh poem and Haiku Salut repeat the trick of the Smoke Fairies from the last album
There are a couple of surprises.... The anger of All Out is a bit off a shock, as is hearing the first vocals of J Willgoose himself on You + Me - an odd track which is a duet with Lisa Jen Brown who sing in Welsh and no samples. It's rather twee but the faltering vocal of the PSB main man give it an endearing quality.
The album fittingly ends with a Welsh male voice choir on Take Me Home.
The Race for Space is still the better album because it has the highs of discovery alongside the lows of the disasters rather than Every Valley which is more consistent in mood but this is still going to be one of the albums of the year.