The music blogs are abuzz about the new Public Image Limited four-song vinyl EP due out as part of Record Store Day on April 21, 2012. It’s a precursor to the new PiL album, This Is Public Image Limited due out in the summer.
In an interview for the BBC, John Lydon told interviewers Adrian Larkin & Matt Everitt, “…we record live, some songs are made up on the spot,” and adds that the new songs are “not moody and terrible” and making a point to mention the “completely experimental” nature of the new material.
You can get a listen to the new PiL track, One Drop, at the SlicingUpEyeballs Soundcloud account. The track and commentary are via the BBC.
Soundwise, One Drop hearkens back to mid-period Public Image Limited, taking the more commercial (but still quite enjoyable) sounds of 9, stripped down a bit with a bit more dub space added for good measure. It’s nowhere near as dub-influenced as the Wobble-era recordings, but you’ll feel a bit of the Jamaican vibe, definitely. There’s even a bit of vocal harmony–PiL has always sounded stronger with additional voices to counterbalance Lydon’s verbal assault vocal style. Well done, lads.
Lydon’s voice sounds more vulnerable than in the past. The swagger is still there, but it’s been tempered by age and tragedy. Lydon had a death in the family prior to this recording–whether or not that factors into the actual songwriting, his material sounds more thoughtful, less antagonistic. Could that be reading too much into one single? Perhaps.
Lyrically, he’s revisiting his past. The track is said to be an autobiographical snapshot of his life in the early days. It sounds strange to hear Lydon, the grand old warhorse of the rock-n-roll swindle, singing “We are teenagers”…but the track is solid, no doubt about it. Any PiL follower would be happy to have this in the collection.
PiL and John Lydon fans will also be interested in the new Public Image Limited Live At Rock Palast DVD which is, at the time of this writing, is in the pre-order stage, due to be released on February 21.