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Public Access TV’s “Never Enough” – a strong debut

Written by Tim Seeberger

Hailing from the East Village in New York City, indie rock band Public Access T.V. warp the idea of New York City rock n’ roll and revitalize it in their debut album “Never Enough.” The album gives a sense of comfort and familiarity to rock n’ roll fans everywhere in the form of simplistic songs that depict a caring for the craft of creating honest music.

In the ironic track, “End of an Era,” Earthly declares “the kids these days don’t like rock n’ roll.”  Public Access T.V. give a realistic effort in convincing listeners that, although the music scene moved away from the golden age of rock in the 60s and 70s, they still want to pay homage to the era with trying to act smug about it.

Hailed by many as the next Strokes, Public Access T.V. express in interviews they do not want to conform to this comparison. This lazy comparison means nothing to the indie rock and shoegaze four-piece who has their  own unique sound on this debut album. Something about the mellow, yet pressing vocals of leader singer and guitarist John Earthly draws listeners in. The LP has a comfortable feel to it that effortlessly captures the long-lost ambience of the rock n’ roll scene.  

As a breakout band in the eyes of many in Manhattan, they are constantly compared early 2000s champions of rock like Incubus and roped in with other up and coming bands such as Spring King and Sunflower Bean. Their location in the city alone has them standing in the shadows of giants. According to “Never Enough,” it is also apparent that on this album, that they knew better than to copy what has come before them. They did not set out to become champions of the new age of rock. Rather, they stepped out into the sun, took the quintessential feel of “New York City rock” and made it their own.

Right from the start, this album lures listeners with the lively tone of “In Our Blood.” The infectious track features a repetitive chorus, a style which appears on multiple tracks throughout the album. “Evil Disco” has a laid-back, yet “in-your-face” feel found in the emotionally pressing vocals with hint of hope woven into the same, few chords played by lead guitarist Xan Aird in the song. The song, like many on the album, talks about the feeling of living in the city at a young age and trying to “make it” with lines like “we’re going out / 17 with a dream of making it big.” The band knows this struggle all too well, with Earthly moving to the city at age 16 to play music and drummer Pete Star playing in multiple bands before joining up with Earthly, Aird, and bassist Max Peebles.

Patti Peru” is an upbeat song about hope amidst desperation in love. Earthly’s employment of storytelling as a method for writing lyrics boasts the band’s talent in working powerful lyrics into rock songs. Aird manifests his musical prowess through a dynamic lead part that blends casually into the song because of its easy-going, yet upbeat flow.

The album’s eighth track, “In Love and Alone,” keeps this same high energy of “Patti Peru” alive. The feel-good song moves at a fervent pace and blends perfectly with the pace of this record. In typical rock fashion, this song and many other tracks are short, yet extremely satisfying.

The culminating track, “Sell You on a Lie,” ends the journey of “Never Enough.” After taking listeners on a ride of rock, love and loss in the form of passionate choruses and great lead riffs, this ‘70s-inspired song captures the pure essence of this album: a commitment to making well-made music again no matter the pre-conceived notions of a scene that they began in.

Public Access T.V. captures the wonder of New York City and the essence of shameless, hopeful youth in an 11-song LP. In such a meek way, the band produced an album that showed they clearly do not care of the public opinion, nor the current state of the music industry. They quietly released an in-your-face album that fits perfectly into the enchanting enigma that is the culture of New York City.

Courtesy of PATV’s Bandcamp
John Eatherly (lead vocals, guitar), Xan Aird (lead guitar, vocals), Max Peebles (bass, vocals) and Pete Star (drums, vocals) in a New York City subway station.

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