“They say the kids don’t like rock and roll anymore / may be the end of an era,” sings Public Access TV frontman John Eatherly on “End of an Era,” from the band’s debut album “Never Enough,” which was released Sept. 30.
The irony of this line is that there is an underground scene of kids who are still into rock and roll, and Public Access TV is cashing in on that velvet.
Public Access TV comes from the New York City scene, and has a long list of vanilla influences, such as the Strokes, the Ramones — frontman Eatherly’s vocals even mimic those of Lou Reed and Iggy Pop at times.
Although this is their debut album and their first-ever studio effort, Public Access TV has received plenty of good press. They have been featured in the UK Guardian, the New York Times, Rolling Stone and British music magazine NME even called them “New York’s hottest band.”
The group toured across the United States with beloved Spanish lo-fi all-girl group Hinds in the fall of 2015. Hinds has also been met with speedy success in the music biz, and it is nice to see these two groups have gotten along.
The group also played a SXSW show in Austin that spring. Last but certainly not least is the fact that Public Access TV had the chance to open for their heroes, The Strokes, at a concert in Hyde Park, London in June 2015. So that’s a pretty big deal.
“Never Enough” follows a punk formula, with smashing drums and a calculated tempo. This aggression is tethered, however, by power-pop chords. In theory, this combo would make Public Access TV sound a little more like Green Day or some other parent-hating pop punk band, but they come off like the Strokes, with more bursts of pop.
Just listen to “Evil Disco.” The beat and guitar sync into a strutting beat, and Eatherly’s lion-like yelps add to the raw anger of the track. Then the song lightens up, and simple adolescent themes in the lyrics make the track more relatable to a wider audience.
Then there’s seventh track “Careful,” which is a screaming, desperate slow jam of a song. It has a bit of a Velvet Underground feel to it, just with the pacing and the vocals. There is also a hint of a piano being played, if my ears are not failing me from too many concerts. It’s music to the ears.
Each song on “Never Enough” sounds basically the same: similar tempo, raw pop punk chords, loud drums. It’s pretty simple, nothing new musically, but still quite enjoyable.
For a debut album, “Never Enough” really is good, especially if Public Access TV is getting near-worldwide recognition for their talent. I must also emphasize how rare it is for a band to be such a big deal right off the bat. Tune in and turn up the volume to Public Access TV.