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Top Five Fridays: Public Health

April 29, 2016

Hey Folks,

The time has come in the week for a brand spanking new edition of Top Five Fridays, where I find a great and happening musical or otherwise artistically inclined cat to share a handful of their favorite records with the rest of us.  Last week found us for the first time ever in Melbourne, OZ, where the garage rockin’ shoe gazin’ genius known to the world as Steph Crase aka Summer Flake shared some of her top albums (you can check out that action over here).  Today we’re in Philly with Alex Moxam, the primary force behind Rock n’ Roll band Public Health.

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Alex Moxam of Public Health

 

I came upon Public Health’s stellar 2015 EP “Down” by hanging out on the wonderful Theory 8 Records home page.  The Nashville label/management company first came on my radar as they put out another of my favorite releases of 2015, Idle Bloom’s face melting “Some Paranoia” EP (You can check out Idle Bloom’s T5F over HERE). When you see that alums of Theory 8 include the likes of Caitlin Rose and Bully, you know they mean business.  Spending time on the Theory 8 page reminds me why true indie labels are so helpful to all of us out there scouring the interwebs for musical gold. Whether I am clicking through Theory 8, Stupid Bag, Salinas, Don Giovanni, Burger, or Infinity Cat, I feel like I can trust the musical taste behind it all putting out these records.  If I liked one release, chances are I’ll probably like the rest of the label’s output.

Anyway, listening to “Down” reminds me of one of the reasons I love Rock ‘n’ Roll so doggone much.  You can’t buy your way or gear your way to a great rock ‘n’ roll record.  You can have the most expensive producer, the best mixing board, and record the whole damn thing to tape, however if the songs and the spirit aren’t there, some group of cats who recorded their album in their living room with a handful of mics are going to come and blow you away.  On “Down,” Alex Moxam and his cohorts (album credits shout out to Kevin Kearney, Jordan Mrazik, Kevin Comly, Julien Rossow-Greenberg, Sam Combs and Ben Fra) deliver a handful of songs that are fun, raw, immediate, and totally thrive in the lo fi/home recording aesthetic of the record.  There isn’t a weak track amongst these five songs, but “Name of the Game” is a standout for me, where the urgency and introspection of the music drives home a lyrical expression of emotionally/intellectually fueled insomnia.

Sit back, relax, grab your favorite pair of headphones, and prepare to dive into Top Five Fridays brought to you by Public Health!

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I limited myself to choosing my favorite 5 records that I have in my fairly small collection. These are in no particular order and if I made this list another day I’m sure the choices would be completely different, but at the moment they are:

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Pom Pom –Ariel Pink

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The first time I listened to the record I thought I’d just wasted $15, but the more I listened the more I appreciated the playful lyrics, the surprising samples thoughtfully sprinkled throughout, and the awesome song structures. I know this dude has already gotten so much praise for this album and I think he completely deserves it.

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Comes a Time – Neil Young

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I LOVE this album.  Not my favorite Neil Young album (On the Beach), but definitely my favorite that I have on record. My favorite track is Lotta Love –  love those simple drum fills.

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You’re living all over me- Dinosaur jr.

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They had it figured out.

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Dog Poison- Thee Oh Sees

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Caught on to Thee Oh Sees pretty late, right after Floating Coffin.  I stumbled upon this album in a dollar bin after that so I snatched it up.  I think this was the one release they did with Captured Tracks. It’s made up of a bunch of great short tracks with catchy hooks and an intriguing recording quality.

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Holland – Beach Boys

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This was a surprise favorite of mine. I got the album because I loved the artwork but then I fell hard for it immediately upon hearing the first track Sail on Sailor.  There is a spoken word track a little bit in that always surprises me, but who doesn’t like a surprise?

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Thanks so much Alex! I always appreciate landing on some Beach Boys that I have not heard yet.

I will direct you all now to bandcamp, where you can download/purchase on cassette “Down.”  You won’t regret this decision.  I was unable to find much in the way of web presence for Public Health, but I will be sure to update the post when I do!

Special thanks to Aaron Hartley of Theory 8 for putting this all together!  Really folks, lots of great music coming out of Theory 8, you should probably check it out.

Remember you can check out all our past Top Five Fridays, including last week’s installment with Australian shoe-gaze garage rocker Steph Crase of Summer Flake over at the ARCHIVE.

well peace out good people of the world,

Peter Winter

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Peter Winter likes books, records, movies and tacos.  He understands you probably also like these things.  Go ahead and follow him on twitter @peterwinter38.  Maybe you’ll become friends.  Maybe best friends.

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