Pretty much a year to the day, UK punks PI$$ER introduced themselves and their deliciously nagging and unique d-beat/hardcore nurtured sound in 2019 with the release of the Wretched Life EP. It was an attention grabbing, imagination inflaming encounter which ignited a greed for more of the same. Now the band returns with 12” mini album Crushed Down to Paste, a proposal which is bred in its predecessor’s invention but is far from being simply more of the same.
PI$$ER is the united enterprise and discordance of guitarists Bri Talbot (Doom) and Matt Woods (Dissidents/ex-Revenge Of The Psychotronic Man), bassist Rhodes (The Domestics / Hobopope & The Goldfish Cathedral), drummer Charlie Claesson (Anti-Cimex / Wolfhour / The Partisans / Bring The Drones), and saxophonist Eddie O’Toole (The Shitty Limits / The Filaments / Beat The Red Light / Personnel) led by band founder and vocalist James Domestic (The Domestics / Dis-Tank / Cabro/ Bring The Drones). The quintet’s pedigree and history was enough to demand attention when the soon to be acclaimed debut EP was announced last year, it uncaging a senses trespassing holler which outstripped any expectations and thoughts of what Wretched Life might offer. It was four tracks which seared ears and sparked true fascination with its hardcore nonconformity and innovation. Now though it feels like just an appetiser for the bigger sized, ravenously fertile and inescapably addictive Crushed Down to Paste.
The band’s sound certainly bears the punk causticity and invasive prowess you would expect from members of bands such as The Domestics, Anti-Cimex and Bring The Drones but it is a skilfully warped and devilishly twisted affair further accentuated by the simultaneous fiery friction and temptation of O’Toole’s sax.
Crushed Down to Paste begins with Jazz Wasps and instantly entangles the listener in its sonic hornet nest; the opener a reaction baiting introduction of voice and sax as dark and disturbing as it is quarrelsome. The track resonates in word and sound, instantly inciting our imagination before the following Time erupted upon its welcome with its own ravening musical psychosis. Straightaway riffs and rhythms relish an old school punk breeding, the sax scurrying across their incitement with Essential Logic-esque quirk and rapacity with Domestic leaping into the affray with his ever thought and ear harassing vocal prowess. For just about two minutes the song relentlessly nags on ears and for the same length had us lusting for more; invention and unpredictability fuelling its riveting badgering.
Panning For Gold is next up, its initial feral coaxing swiftly followed by Rhodes and Claesson unleashing another rhythmic incitement which had the body instinctively twitching. In turn Talbot and Woods match the manipulation with similarly crafted riffs and sonic tempting, it all further ignited by the flirtatious yet rapacious dance of the sax’s flames around Domestic’s magnetic challenge. As in the previous tracks and others to come, certain elements of the band’s sound teases with a Cardiacs like taunting, another hue to diversity and uniqueness just as eagerly adopted by Problem within its voracious attack and uncompromising accusation. The relatively calm start to the song is still all predation and provocation, both erupting with greater malice and condemnation as the song twists and turns with increasing energy and a hostility which is not so much tempered by O’Toole’s ever rousing exploits but lustfully lit.
Fair to say side one to the album quickly and increasingly proved irresistible and the second immediately showed its match with Job and the numbing of spirit and dreams in that working life. From its first breath the band weaves a lure of sound and temptation which was quickly under the skin; enterprise and dexterity hand in hand with imagination as every untamed texture and inflamed blast colluded in another habit forging pleasure as crusty and inexorable as it is creativity invigorating.
There is something of The Exploited meets Discharge to the core of Nazi Rhythm, the corrosively respiring track soon casting raw antagonism and resourceful inspiration through ears as PI$$ER leap around with intent and innovation whilst scarring the world and the senses. Again ears devoured ever devilish and capricious dynamics within an equally compelling entanglement of endeavour and sounds before Dance In The Light Of Your Burning Bridges brings the release to a thrilling close.
The final track initially prowls the listener whilst throwing out invasive jabs, a lead to a landscape of accusation and invention which swiftly and firmly had the imagination and passions enslaved. Though every track embraces an array of flavours to varying degrees, the album’s last glorious offering is a kaleidoscope of styles within its punk bred confrontation. Post punk alongside space and progressive rock are potent intimations within its persuasive web, the jazz swing of the sax another individual moment in its particular creativity across Crushed Down to Paste.
It is a richly captivating and riveting end to an album just as striking and thrilling. The Wretched Life EP may have forcibly impressed last year but the momentous ear manna that is Crushed Down to Paste leaves it at the starting post.
Pete RingMaster 09/07/2020