It's been more than 2 years since the release of the last Purling Hiss album, 2014's wonderful Weirdon, and the new one, High Bias, out Friday from Drag City, is no less wonderful. I'm here today to tell you, in this brief review, how the wonderfulness of one record has now been superseded by that of the next. Read on.
What becomes immediately apparent from one spin of High Bias is that Purling Hiss main-man Mike Polizze has been listening to a bit of PiL lately. I mean, come on, "3000 AD" practically echoes "Public Image" from Lydon's gang of homewreckers. The lurching sway of the expertly-titled "Notion Sickness" ups the ante with a shot of Dischord-style post-punk in the rhythm. If front-man Polizze brings a Jesus Lizard-like power to the fine "Teddy's Servo Motors", he modulates his approach on "Get Your Way" so as to sound not entirely unlike a punk-influenced Liam Gallagher. Look, things have not gotten exactly Britpop-y on High Bias but the presentation here is more forceful, more direct, and, by extension, more effective. The angles of "Ostinato Musik" reveal an affection for spry post-punk from the Faraquet school, while "Pulsations" raises the ghost of Lydon's Johnny Rotten persona only to pair it up with the sound of early Killing Joke. The epic closer, "Everybody in the USA", serves up a Stooges-like stomp that is memorable but, truly, Polizze and his band's attack is more more enjoyable in smaller doses. For the most part, the punk-ier tracks on High Bias are superb.
High Bias from Purling Hiss will be out Friday via Drag City. It's a scorcher for the most part and one that will postively rock your socks off in spots. You can follow Purling Hiss via the band's official Facebook page.