Public Opinion break down every track on their Ian Shelton-assisted EP
Denver's Public Opinion hail from the hardcore scene, but they've clearly got a big love for early 2000s rock revival acts like The Hives and The Strokes. "We’re either the surprisingly poppy band on the hardcore show or the surprisingly aggressive band on the indie rock show," said frontman and founder Kevin Hart, previously of the emo band Four Minute Mile, the hardcore band It Follows, and Sex With A Terrorist, the 2020 side project of Ian Shelton (Regional Justice Center, Militarie Gun) and Patrick Kindlon (Drug Church, Self Defense Family). After putting out Public Opinion's debut single in 2020, Kevin expanded the project into a full band, roping in his Four Minute Mile bandmates Sebastian Stanley (bass) and Brent Liseth (drums) and his It Follows bandmate Antonio Vargas (guitar), and he tapped Ian Shelton to produce the band's new EP, Modern Convenience, out today on Convulse Records, and sing on its song "Fixated."
"I’ve known Ian for about ten years and it was really interesting to have him in that role," Kevin said in the press materials for the new EP. "He pushed me to try a lot of things I wouldn’t have considered before, especially with vocals." Ian added, "I always gravitate towards bands that are interested in combining sounds or influences that might not immediately seem like they’d fit together, so the way Public Opinion are able to blend anything–from ‘80s hardcore to early aughts rock–is really up my alley. It was fun to work with them and encourage them to draw out the melodic elements in their sound even further."
Speaking to us over email, Ian added, "When I heard the demos for the EP I was immediately grabbed by the hooks on songs like 'Sweets All The Time' and 'Modern Convenience.' They’ve been stuck in my head ever since and it made me want to get involved to help make the best possible version of the record. When it came down to 'Fixated' we just wanted a little something extra to tip the song over and that’s where the idea for me to sing on it came in."
The EP offers up five songs in 12 minutes, and if you like any type of loud, fun, catchy guitar rock, you should give this one a spin. Kevin also took the time to give us a breakdown of every track, and you can read that as you listen below...
1. "Modern Convenience"
This was the first song off the record I wrote lyrics for, and I think it’s a clear through-line of the previous material's perspective - real frustrated, pissed lyrics set to a catchy song with a big chorus. The percussion [engineer] Phil [Odim] added absolutely makes this one for me.
While the first track is all about a “you”, this one is all about me. Looking inward and acknowledging the problems I’ve got and how they’re kind of part of what makes me me. I was really glad Ian was willing to contribute vocally to this one, and I think his part works perfectly.
3. "Sweets All The Time"
This one almost didn’t even make the record, but every person I showed this to told me I was being fucking insane. Phil and Ian were and still are big proponents that this is “the track”. I really thought I was doing a Stephan Jenkins thing on the chorus, but I doubt anyone else hears it. The catchiest song both lyrically and musically by a mile, with the general theme being it’s a love song. I’m glad I was talked out of chopping it.
4. "American Bandstand"
Not quite as angry as the title track, but much more of biting and sneering attitude than the rest of the material, this time taking aim at the dumb shit that’s part of small room guitar music. I like that this fits in best with the previous record while still working on this record, and it still makes me want to stage dive.
5. "Polite Conversation"
Another one looking inward. This song is just about not liking the forced acquaintanceship that comes with anything - workplace, hardcore, whatever. I’m an in my head person, which this song acknowledges that as being a me problem as opposed to thinking everyone else should accommodate my shit, but I just still feel that way. Sometimes being quiet or distant isn’t that weird. I’ve also been told this is me trying to channel Alex from Seattle’s New Gods. It’s not intentional, but it’s not dissimilar either.
Vinyl pre-orders here.
Public Opinion -- 2022 Tour Dates
5/27 Denver, CO @ Hi Dive ^
6/8 Colorado Springs, CO @ Black Sheep
6/10 Tucson, AZ @ Groundworks
6/11 San Diego, CA @ TBA*
6/12 Fullerton, CA @ Programme*
6/13 Fresno, CA @ Sour Milk*
6/14 Santa Cruz, CA @ TBA*
6/15 Oakland, CA @ TBA*
6/16 Eugene, OR @ Spectrum
6/17 Portland, OR @ Gloom House
6/18 Tacoma, WA @ Hammerhead House
^ w/ Fiddlehead
* w/ Bad Spring