Purling Hiss Water On Mars on LP
It takes balls to let Purling Hiss get in your face - their records are a half-corroded, screaming roar of high-end guitars crushed together, obliterating vocals and drums with their singular assault. Well, if you’ve got balls, get ready to swing ‘em! With Water On Mars, Purling Hiss have broken out of the basement, run through the bedroom and are now loose, out in the streets, blasting one of the great guitar albums in the past couple minutes.
It's a tumble of hits and ragers, sewing together nine new Purling Hiss celebration laments out of their usual patches of distortion, singing melodies and unexpected production hootah - but this time the unexpected part is how the guitars gleam so precisely as they pile upon each other, how they work alongside of the rhythm section rather than avalanching it. And how the songs embody a variety of Hiss-teric moods, from the gutbusting bellow of "Lolita" and "Face Down" through the acoustic flatline of "Dead Again," the aromatic slide guitars and piano within "She Calms Me Down," the anthemish surge of "Rat Race" and the wailing march-jam, "Water On Mars."
Water On Mars is Purling Hiss’ first recording outside the fuzzy confines of Mike Polizze’s inner rock utopia, where the first three albums and EP were constructed in solitude with a home-recording setup. Over the past couple years, Polizze has been working with a band and fine-tuning new songwriting ideas while playing shows all over the place. Now there is a center to the Hiss maelstrom, with Polizze’s guitars slugging, sizzling and spiraling their way around the rhythm throb, singing disaffected in shifts both aggro and slack (and around to the back) through the course of a song, with production highlighting the schiz by buffing the raw power into a streamlined blast.
Purling Hiss have a deeply satisfying way of drawing from the red, white and blue wells of 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s rock to inform their own sound, giving things a retro ring while doing what they do in the Philadelphia of today – and no other time could apply, really. Water On Mars is heavy stuff from Purling Hiss, unknotting the strings that tangled all their previous records together to reveal - another, greater storm within.
Purling Hiss Water On Mars Track Listing:
2. Mercury Retrograde
3. Rat Race
4. Dead Again
5. She Calms Me Down
6. Face Down
7. The Harrowing Wind
8. Water on Mars
9. Mary Bumble Bee