By: Sam Kayuha, In The Record Store staff writer.
In January, Personal Public dropped its first record, recorded last year with Jon Fintel at Relay Recording. Its latest single, “Bite Your Tongue,” came out in March.
Despite “Revival” being its debut album, Personal Public is not new to the scene; the band has existed in some form since the summer of 2012, after its two founding members graduated from Bishop Ready High School on the West Side. Originally a duo, it took almost four years and two new members for the band to put together the record.
“The whole process (of making “Revival”) started about two years ago,” said founding member and keyboardist, Anthony Herrmann.
That includes writing time, but the actual recording and mixing of the record was a long process too — about eight months — mostly for fiscal reasons.
“We had to ration out our fundage,” co-founder and drummer Jordan McVey said. “We’d do these marathon weekend sessions, and by the end we would have the bones of a song recorded.”
Though Personal Public’s members are influenced by pure rock acts like Kings of Leon and Dave Matthews Band, a focus on electronic production betrays a different influence to its sound.
"We’re influenced by rock overarchingly, but I’m also influenced by rap and how outlandish it can be,” said McVey, name-checking the production of Kendrick Lamar and Travis Scott.
“Revival” is atmospheric rock, a dash of etherealness mixed with pop-punk sensibilities coming together to resemble bands like Angels & Airwaves and Delta Spirit.
“We usually start writing from a production standpoint and bring it to everyone else,” Herrmann said.
While basing songs around a backbone of production can limit the flexibility of the live show, that strategy gives an accurate portrait of the genre-bending band on “Revival.”
It starts with “Heaven,” an airy introduction that weaves into “All In Your Head,” and consecutive, compact pop-punk rompers. There is the bruising guitar riff of “Under the Rug,” the foot stomping of “Home” and a token acoustic number, “The Wild.”
The voice of singer Cody Contner, its nonchalance as suitable for folk as rock, steers the record away from being stereotypically anything. Before the vocals started I was almost waiting to hear the nasal whine of Tom Delonge, which would fit the instrumentation, but instead came something thankfully original.
Personal Public is preparing a new project to be released later this year, and for gigs this summer, including a set at the Fashion Meets Music festival.
“Revival” can be found on the band’s Soundcloud page, iTunes, Spotify and Apple Music.
More information about the band HERE.