Within about a second or two of "Forcefield of Solitude" kicking off I was asking myself:
"Why haven't I been listening to Purling Hiss before now!?!"
Well, I had seen the band's name in print but somehow I had neglected to spin their stuff. Well folks, Weirdon, out today on Drag City, is a beast. It's a crazy zebra of riffs and hooks held together by animal magic production.
I don't know much about main-man Mike Polizze but I do know he's gonna give Ty Segall and Bob Pollard some stiff competition.
After that opener which seems to channel both those guys mentioned above, "Learning Slowy" oozes classic Sonic Youth-style menace (but it's got a kick like the best of the Stooges). "Another Silvermoon" throws in Pavement-level melody with a sort of languid charm that gives the tune more than just slacker rock appeal; it's got real emotion in those vocals.
At some point in this review I'm bound to throw in another Ty Segall mention. That's an apt reference point but Polizze and his Purling Hiss crew are also doing something akin to what Grifters did a few years ago. It's that Pavement template pushed in new directions -- less stoner vibes and more focused weariness...but weariness wedded to killer melodies ("Reptil-A-Genda") and vicious guitar hooks ("Where's Sweetboy").
"Aging Fast" adds a hint of the Beatles...well, the Fab Four filtered through GBV or something. "I Don't Wanna Be A..." offers a nod in the direction of Albini-produced Nirvana while "Running Through My Dreams" is all early Beck moodiness.
Epic 8-minute album closer "Six Ways to Sunday" unfurls like Dinosaur Jr. with some fantastic guitar lines leading the song forward. It's like Grandaddy...but with Neil Young sitting in with the band. Wonderful stuff.
Polizze, Kiel Everett, and Ben Leaphart have made a great record in Weirdon. It's the more mellow -- in spots, at least -- cousin of Sunbathing Animal from Parquet Courts and the rowdier riff-rocker heir to Bakesale from Sebadoh, for a rough comparison.