Purling Hiss - Weirdon (Drag City)

Philly psych-punks sleekest most immediate LP to date

Released Sep 23rd, 2014 via Drag City / By Brendan Morgan
Purling Hiss - Weirdon (Drag City) Opening with a squeal of feedback, the new Purling Hiss release marks a change of direction for the band; from low-down Acid Rock sludge to high-flying Indie. Brought to centre stage, founding member Mike Polizze's bedroom song writing fuses a great many styles from the American alternative scene: the scuzzy guitar pop of Dinosaur Jr, the heavy, moody grunge of Nirvana and Mudhoney - even flashes of those upbeat college rockers Husker Du.

While I hesitate to say it, Weirdon could be described as 'more accessible', a phrase often met with disdain and, in worse cases, can result in the severing of an original and dedicated fan base. Stoned rockers and headbangers can rest at ease though, the band haven't abandoned their dishevelled class and love of face melting jams. Instead, they've found a satisfying balance between the structured and the loose, the familiar and the uneasy that will only be guilty of picking up more attention.

Tracks like 'Sundance Saloon Boogie' and 'Learning Slowly' slam through verse, chorus, verse, chorus, only to shift gears and take off into psychedelic trips of soaring guitar melodies over steady beats. They are what all jams should be: sweet and colourful and mixed thick and sticky. Sadly, the second half doesn't quite maintain this trajectory. After cooling down with the smoky Kinks-like 'Reptili-A-Gena' and the kicking 'Where's Sweetboy', it begins to deflate and sag. By the time 'I Don't Wanna Be A...' arrives, moping about not making the track selection for Nirvana's Nevermind, I lost interest. Fortunately 'Six Ways To Sunday', a baked ballad with a blinding guitar solo, brings the mood back and dispels all doubts that Weirdon is a truly fantastic ride.

In this algorithmic age of ambition, achievement and perfection, it's unsurprising the slacker ethos never really went away. Through music, Purling Hiss capture that old wisdom behind lazy resistance. If boredom is the catalyst of creativity, then let it all go. We're all just winging it. Weirder is better. Play it loud. Play it cool.