|Public Access - Fleeced EP|
Release Date: 2005
Record Label: Pocketful of Change Records
Hailing from Albany, NY, Public Access are a band with a consistent ability to create jittery, raw, ska-tinged punk-rock anthems that keep listeners craving for more. With their latest offering, Fleeced, the band has fused a handful of genres into their own unique mix, creating a positive, uplifting six-song EP. Though the record is not necessarily anything groundbreaking or indvidually distinct, Fleeced should by no means be regarded as a waste of recording time. As a matter of fact, every aspect in tact is surprisingly well-done, right down to the packaging, which provides the owner with every part of an album layout excluding a jewel case.
The EP opens with "Hit Single", which is undoubtedly the best example of what Public Access are all about. The lyrics are true to their hearts, and the music is arguably the perfect mix to support what they've got to say. Lyrically, the song is descriptive of the bands personal views on the current state of the music industry, and it's safe to say I whole-heartedly agree with each word pouring from their mouths. There are no cliches here, and most certainly nothing even a slight bit similar to what's making waves these days. Dual vocalists Chris and Matt, who both coincidentally handle saxophone duties as well, are equally as energetic and straightforward, providing for nothing short of a blistering listen. One line that sticks out above all else reads "Music's just not music anymore", which single-handedly showcases the groups less than hidden feelings towards their surroundings. "Piss on Pity", the EP's second track, kicks off with an infectious blast of guitarist Jay's ability, as well as a deep, booming line of horns courtesy of the aforementioned saxophone players. The song itself is nothing less than a chaotic jumble of angry presentments, though surprisingly not dissapointing in the least. "God Save the Scene", the third offering, is in the running for the most powerful, mind-blowing track found here, complete with yet another easily-agreeable dose of the bands views on the 'scene'. The guitar work is original and refreshing, complete with danceable upbeats that stay true to the bands ska-punk flavour. More or less, the upstrokes, amisdt the constant array of punk-infused hardcore, are what allow for this EP to be classified as a ska release at all.
Skipping ahead to the records fifth track, "Dead Sexy", Public Access incorporate more of a radio-friendly (not really, but moreso than any other track on Fleeced), rock-tinged influence, which expectedly creates a wondrous, impressive listen. The guitar solo, which was apparently conducted by a musician outside of the band, is quite nice in itself, and the melodies the band tosses up are more than inspiring. "Algernon", the sixth and final offering, unfortunately doesn't offer much in terms of individuality, though by no means should be considered a badly composed song. Actually, the horns which close out the final track bring the EP to a quite exciting finish. The only reason this particular track could be given a negative review by itself, is that in terms of appeal, it doesn't seem to be quite up to par with what this band is capable of.
Overall, Public Access have offered up yet another solid release of rampageous, yet melodic samples of what can only be left to come. In terms of originality, Fleeced is no groundbreaker, but listeners in search of a fun, truthful experience should look no further. The guitars are heavy, the bass lines are driving, the drums are thick, and the vocals, lyrics, and saxophones are forces not to be reckoned with. For a band that couldn't care less about what's popular or what the masses are eating up, Public Access have created a mix of anthems they enjoy, and I couldn't applaud them more for their successful, moving efforts.