Saturday, March 2, 2013

Purling Hiss : Water On Mars


Purling Hiss began, as bedroom recordings of Mike Polizze until a tour with Kurt Vile a few years ago propelled the project into a full band in its own right.   The Philadelphia power trio are; Mike Polizze (Birds of Maya), Kiel Everett and Mike Sneeringer.   Together they play out a turbo-guitar, gulping bass and fiery rhythms.  To date Purling Hiss has four albums, an EP and split 12” with Puffy Areolas, all of which has seen Polizze at the core of the songwriting.   This new album for Drag City ‘Water On Mars’ to my ears at least, sounds like all three members constructed the album together as these ten songs build on the big psych-rock sound Purling Hiss is known for with some new ideas thrown into the mix.  ‘Water On Mars’ channels the kind of fuzzed out approach and saccharine melodies you’d expect from Dinosaur Jr and brilliant tangents of 60s psych.  Opener "Lolita" steamrolls in with chewy, sanguine tinged guitars, rumbling bass, forthright rhythms apace with Polizze's gravelly voice layered with screeching distortion.  "Mercury Retrograde" follows immediately taking things down a gear, filtering out abrasive noise and smoothing over vocals allowing a melody heavy bass to come through alongside roaming guitars.   It's the play on hard/soft, loud/quiet, pop melodies/dissonant noise that best describes the album as Purling Hiss finds the perfect balance between these opposites - just listen to eventide-esque "She Calms Me Down" next to freaked out "Face Down" to see what I mean!  'Water On Mars' feels like a game changer for Purling Hiss where they don't just think outside the indie-rock box, they smash it and build a new box. On tour soon in the UK for Fuzz Box at The Dome in May - not to be missed!

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