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Byline: JAMES WARD

With their breakthrough debut 'Inform-Educate-Entertain', Public Service Broadcasting laid down a template for their conceptual, slick groove-driven indie rock.

A record that combined pulsating guitar atmospherics with a visual-show that pilfered from World War II era propaganda footage offered something considerably outside the indie-mainstream.

Their musical history lessons, and the tongue-incheek title, could easily have drawn unwarranted ire from critics, but simply put, their sound stands up strongly by itself.

On their new record, The Race For Space, their attention turns away from the propaganda machines and towards the stars.

Frontman J Willgoose told the Beat: "Not to be too boring, I think I was trying to write a good album, something that hung together well and told a bit of a story through the space race.

"And maybe, for people of my generation anyway, highlight a few of the relatively unsung heroes of it, like the first space walker, Alexey Leonov and (female cosmonaut) Valentina Tereshkova; maybe highlight a bit more the Russian side which has kind of got lost in all the American moon landings attention."

One thing J wanted to avoid however, was references to the conspiracy theories surrounding the moon landing, namely that it didn't actually happen.

He said: "This is one of our most technologically and spiritually revelatory periods of modern history, I'd say.

"A great number of people choose not to believe that it's happened for various spurious reasons, which is incredibly depressing. So this is our attempt to push back against that."

One of the questions most frequently thrown in the direction of PBS is the chicken and egg scenario - do they find the sounds, or the footage first? J says: "Nine times out of 10 the idea will come first and then it's a case of looking for the material. NASA are famously open in the way they post all of their mission audio logs and stuff, so I knew there was a wealth of material there.

"I was more concerned about the Russian stuff, thinking, 'How the hell am I going to get my hands on that?', when I had a chance phone call to the BFI where I was asking if they had any HD NASA stuff, as I had plenty of the low quality stuff, and they said 'no, but we have just inherited a massive collection of Russian space material if you want to use that'.

"It was unbelievably perfect. And so The Race For Space began to take shape."

.The Race for Space is out now. Public Service Broadcasting will play The Button Factory, Dublin on Tuesday, May 5.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 1, 2015
Words:442
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