Public Service Broadcasting, The War Room EP

Amber Cowan

By Amber Cowan

on 12.13.12 in Reviews

Usually, there’s no greater turn off than music that feels patriotic, which is the reason why Muse’s official anthem for the Olympics was so alarming (okay, one of the reasons). But The War Room EP by experimental electronic duo Public Service Broadcasting evoked a spirit of national pride and resilience that chimed in perfectly with the bunting-decked mood of London 2012, while also being genuinely innovative. Granted rare access to the British Film Institute’s archive of wartime propaganda, J Willgoose Esq and Wrigglesworth — the Brylcreemed moustaches are implicit — layered 1940s radio broadcasts over sample-heavy music that flows hypnotically from Krautrock to expansive, energetic post-rock. The concept initially seems like the equivalent of a “Keep Calm and Carry On” poster, but these tracks become more moving and evocative with every listen. The picture of the Blitz on “London Can Take It,” in particular, is soul-stirring stuff.