Album Review: Purling Hiss – High Bias

By Alex Sherry, Contributor

[Drag City; 2016]

Rating: 8.5/10

Key Tracks: “Fever,” “3000 AD,” “Follow You Around”

High Bias is high energy all the way through, evoking a sense of freedom. Purling Hiss’ new album drives the listener down an endless stretch of road, the old leather car seats and cool breeze can be felt in every track of this record.

Purling Hiss have been releasing albums and EPs consistently since their 2009 self-titled LP. Much of their early work has been experimental and at points feeling like demos rather than full releases. High Bias, the band’s sixth studio album, loses the rough low-fi quality of previous albums and has a cleaner finish that allows the masterfully produced instrumentals to really shine through.

Mike Polizze’s vocals throughout the LP are similar to something that would be heard on a Sex Pistols  record. The rough, reverb-filled vocals compliment the wall of sound created by the fuzz-filled guitar licks. Structurally, the songs feel very psychedelic which is no surprise coming from Purling Hiss. The repetitive lyrics and endless noise make it easier for the listener to space out and feel the energy of each track.

While the songs vary in different styles, the flow of the album remains intact. The dream-like track “3000 AD” is almost trance like only for the next track, “Notion Sickness,” to kick the energy back up with its hard hitting punk influenced instrumentals. This theme is seen throughout the album, but never feels like it detracts; the different contrasting styles mix perfectly.

High Bias isn’t going to shake up the music industry, but listeners looking to let go and have some good vibes will find them here. Purling Hiss proves again that rock and roll isn’t dead, and there is still much to explore on this endless road.

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