Public Interest


Public Interest Spiritual Pollution LP

Second album from Oakland’s PUBLIC INTEREST, with their take on dark post-punk. The only musician credited is Chris Natividad, so whether this plush, full-band sound is coming from him and him only, I can’t truly say. If you’re familiar with his other band MARBLED EYE, you will like this variation on their theme that is more pop-driven in its beat, while still providing those reverbed-out, languishing guitar lines. The vocals are as if Thurston Moore is singing in a monotone baritone the whole time, which works with the steady, mid-tempo drums and repetitious bass chugging and synth strokes, best exemplified on “Falling Ash.” The dark aura of MORPHINE or TYPE O NEGATIVE comes to mind, but as a punk outfit. Erste Theke Tontraeger hasn’t led me astray yet, and this record is no exception.

Public Interest Between 12″

This gave me wicked déjà vu before I dawned on me that I heard these tracks, in this order, on the rather excellent cassette EP of the same name. Oakland’s PUBLIC INTEREST, a.k.a. the solo project of Chris Natividad from MARBLED EYE, leads with lo-fi synths and electronic drums which serve the jaded and half-sung vocals just right. “Design Flaw” breaks a classic JOY DIVISION-style construction down to basics with a dark and nostalgic arpeggio swirling around it, building a proper mania. And like JOY DIVISION, it employs its cold, cold drum machines in a way that still sounds very much alive and not like a sterile scratch demo. A vinyl-worthy project to be sure; hell, get it on both formats, it’s dud-free.