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Public Practice – Distance is a Mirror


“Distance is a Mirror” is the debut four-track EP by Brooklyn’s Public Practice. Formed from the ashes of WALL and Beverly you can hear the defiance to keep the creative juices alive and moving in Sam York’s vocal delivery on the first track “Fame & Glory.” The one-two stripped down funk beat by Scott Rosenthal locks perfectly into the Talking Heads-esque bass line of Drew Citron. The chops of the bandmates are in restraint, a sign of seasoned players. The call of Sam’s diatribe: “We gift our souls to a life left wanting” and the tweaky response of the tele guitar over asphalt by Vince McCelland is a hot dose of tried and true funky rock n’ roll with the unique voice of each member making it their own. By the time the band kicks into double time with the line “Sugar salted lies” in repetition blossoming to a full bellow it’s easy to envision an emotionally thrilling live show.

The band shifts into high gear on “Bad Girls” and the punk influence on the gang vocal in the chorus works perfectly in contrast to the super funky intertwining of the guitar and bass lines in the verse.

“You say what I’m supposed to talk like/you say how I’m supposed to act like/you say who I’m supposed to hate to keep me on your side/I won’t play your game/I don’t need your shame.”

Public Practice is breaking forms down from funk, disco, punk rock, and not just in a mathematical way, but in an emotional way as well. With a title like “Bad Girls” set in a punk groove you’d expect the gold standard subject matter of women banding together to take over a man’s world. But here the band is calling out for individuality, for a deeper dive into collective problems. The band takes the flip side and puts a spin on the tribalism of so-called revolutionary thinking saying they’re going to fight how they want to fight.

The short but so damn sweet EP closes with “Into the Ring.” The pulse of the guitar octave riff sets the tone for another punchy groove in the verse but the chorus hits with a pop chant as backing vocals and lead vocals intertwine joyously over dark subject matter. The genre melding is executed with grace as a power chord punk riff responds to the upbeat chorus.

“Closer to death now, louder they cheer.” That’s a line that would fit on a heavy metal track. When you hear how Sam York pulls this line off to create stimulating and contradictory meaning you will be a fan of Public Practice forever. Be sure to order a copy on vinyl or CD of “Distance Is a Mirror” and go into the world of the unique and seasoned Public Practice.

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