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Public Practice - "Distance Is A Mirror" | Album Review


by Patrick Pilch (@pratprilch)

The debut EP from New York’s Public Practice is excellent but that should come as no surprise. Comprised of DIY linchpins Drew Citron (Beverly), Vince McClelland and Sam York (WALL), and Scott Rosenthal, the art-funk quartet recently emerged as a quasi-supergroup in the wake of WALL. As the rigor mortis sets in, Public Practice appear post mortem, adopting an intersectional style combining rug-cutting disco, freethinking no wave and all things post.

On Distance is a Mirror, Public Practice convene for one of the most exciting punk releases of 2018. The band overrides punk tropes with maleable danceability, channelling Wharf Cat label-mates Bush Tetras and the best of DC’s Sister Polygon tapes. The members splice the sound of their respective musical pursuits, meeting between Beverly’s bubbly noise pop and WALL’s dusky and sharp punk. Centerpiece “Foundation” is the most genre-inclusive track on Distance is a Mirror, opening with McClelland’s immovable hammer-ons and branching out with an airtight drum machine feature.

The commanding bass-line of “Fate/Glory” sets pulsing vocals in motion as rhythmically mantric imperatives ceaselessly jab over McClelland’s off-the-rails punk twang. The leadoff track is built around Citron’s pummeling low-notes, expanding the song at a key change and exploding with a tempo shift. The one-two transitional punch between “Fate/Glory” and “Bad Girls(s)” bolsters the anticipation of the former track while boosting pop appeal of the latter, becoming one of the most seamless back-to-back track pairs in recent memory.

The finalizing flanger on “Into the Ring” is the EP’s seal of resolution; its ‘feel-good’ farewell that caps off Distance is a Mirror in exceptionally catchy fashion. In a mere 13 minutes, Public Practice effortlessly embody the uninterrupted legacy of NYC punk. The band introduces themselves as a DIY archetype, emerging from the highly collaborative scene bubbling inside the walls of Secret Project Robot and the late Silent Barn. Distance is a Mirror is quick, pointed and well-versed, an excellent introduction to a fledgling band wise beyond their years.