Purling Hiss - Weirdon

by Steve Reynolds Rating:8 Release Date:2014-09-22

Ah, Purling Hiss - a clever play on words. You’re still with me aren’t you? This band of scruffy herberts play Goddamn simple rock 'n' roll but revel in using slices of grunge-induced riffs and a nick-nack of guitar twists and turns.

Their new album, Weirdon, is torn down with mediocre production and a stunted budget which could have suffocated them. Instead, it’s galvanised them into putting out an assorted album of electric and acoustic numbers, all delivered with a sunny disposition and a constant smile on their dirty faces.

They go for the jugular from the start with the frenetic ‘Forcefield of Solitude’, which sets the template for the 11 tracks on the album. They take the lo-fi gritty production of early 90s college rock but pump it full of energy, with a sharp vocal requesting us to “turn down the radio”. The accompanying chiming guitar instantly creates a vibe of heart-warming charm and a straight-ahead sensibility.

The pace doesn’t relent one iota with the following two tracks, ‘Sundance Saloon Boogie’ and ‘Learning Slowly’. The latter comes with a compact J Mascis solo that the great man himself would be proud of committing to a recording. These are an impressive first three songs on this, their sixth album, and it’s testament to their sheer bloody-mindedness that they still put out such records of good mood and enriching quality.

Even the six-minute stoner-jam-wig-out that accompanies ‘Another Silverman’, off-kilter to its predecessors, captivates and showcases the band’s ability to fluctuate and lustfully charm your bloody trousers off. The same can be said for ‘Reptili – A – Genda’, with its trippy, Byrdsy-style arrangement and hazy approach. Quick to blow away a fug of pot, they put the Marshall amps back up to 11 for the storming ‘Where’s Sweetboy?’ Two minutes later, it’s all over before it’s even begun. 

I am not gonna wax lyric about every song on Weirdon, but I think you’ve got a decent description of where this album is going. Even triumphant closer 'Six Ways to Sunday' registers highly on the stroke-ability scale. 

It isn’t the archetypical sound of current indie-rock, especially in the UK, but the force of its simplicity cannot be understated. The easy way their songs are constructed, the lack of pretension and bluster, gives it a beguiling feel. You can’t give enough credit to what they have achieved here.

This is the shit, good shit.

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