Pi$$er – Wretched Life (Kibou, TNX, Sick World Records)
Pre-orders up, released 12 July
Whether this is a one off or the first instalment of many, it doesn’t matter – Pi$$er brings together luminaries from across the punk scene to offer up 4 raging d-beat inspired tracks on this EP with a sprinkling of hardcore and the addition of saxophone to make them stand out in a crowded field.
Pi$$er have combined one half of the Domestics (James, vocalist, and Rhodes, bass player) with the engine of Anti-Cimex and Wolfhour, Charlie Claesson, on drums then topped it off with guitarists Bri from Doom and Matt Woods from Revenge of the Psychotronic Man. As if that weren’t enough, Eddie from the Filaments and Shitty Limits has brought along his saxophone. The term “super group” sounds too lame, prog rock and 70s so let’s call this a project instead, shall we? James and Charlie have form for this sort of project – Bring The Drones saw the pair team up with a host of others to release an album in 2017.
Whilst drawing on each of the members’ past and current endeavours which you wouldn’t necessarily choose to bring into one band, Pi$$er have their own sound. James’ vocals sound more guttural than his usual shoutiness as befits the music (with the occasional bit of reverb to make him sound like he’s stuck down a well) and the bass is more heavily distorted than the Domestics. With Bri on guitar and in the control room at Studio 1 in 12 there was always going to be a heavy dose of Doom, and Charlie’s drumming blends perfectly with that but this is not yet another D-beat band struggling to be noticed in a sea of black clad competitors. One guitar laying down the full gain sustain downstrokes while the other chopping back and forth gives this a bit of a refreshing hardcore feel. But most importantly they’ve got that sax appeal!
Before talking saxophone, lets put to one side ska-punk – too many sins to forgive. While there has been sax in punk since the days of X-ray Spex and many since made it a key part of their sound – Berurier Noir and Stage Bottles springing to mind immediately – I love the ingenuity of mashing a saxamophone into a noisy D-beat band. It’s something new. At times the way it pokes through the wall of guitar conjures up a mental image of a goose being chased by a swarm of bees, but it comes into its own on the 2 B-side songs where it strikes me as akin to some of Nik Turner’s work with the punkadelic Inner City Unit. This is what makes Pi$$er stand out.
Words by Nathan Brown. Check out his Louder Than War Author Archive.