Rash bursts of powerviolence are the best bursts of powerviolence. Why pack ten songs into twenty five minutes? Five in ten is just right. This fresh-as-all-fuzz release from Pissed On only stops to piss on a burning pedestrian at the culmination of a brief, brutal attack. Raw and ready, five tracks merge into one erratic performance, over so quick that words can’t catch up. Hence this rough, chopped up review of The Hanged Man.
The actual hanged man on the album art would still be kicking and struggling by the time this record closes up. Its leering menace kicks out on opener “Dear Reader”, a guitar and bass attack that has airs of Maruta to it; not as shrill but certainly as frantic. The riffs and their blast accompaniments spin and twist off each other, tempo changing at a rate quick enough to floor a pilot. All of that full-tilt for a minute then more of the same. But different.
Slumping into another twisty, grind attack, Pissed On crank it up towards the room freezing “enter the fucking void” call halfway through. The vocals are wretched as can be and mirror the rustic, overdrive heavy tone. The only tonal change kicks in whenever the bass decides it’s not loud enough and hits another pedal. Filthy and fun. But brief, again. There’s powerviolence grooves and some more of those Pyrrhon chords, lingered on instead of journeyed around, but the template of blast into stomp into groove continues.
Only during the final third of “Shriveled Minds” the tempo becomes constant, thanks (or no thanks) to a one-string drone riff that needs way more guitar tracks behind it. The kind of dirge riff that bands with three guitarists build their sound on. Segueing into the final track and second half of The Hanged Man, more doom style riffing and wretched vocals eat their way through the speakers, fading out in a classic studio fashion. Fin.
The last track sounds great. It’s dry, rung out chords breed malevolence and the careful build up does reach a satisfying enough climax. But half of this release is one doom riff. Maybe if it was placed right in the middle, the momentum might not have shifted so sourly. Everything falling before it was vibrant and rugged in all the right places, showing promise for a band early on in the terms of short, powerful releases. Momentum is the key word. Pissed On prove that speed, destruction and discord are easy pickings. Finding the balance of maelstrom and venom is the next step in this fledgling career of festering sounds. Definitely expect to feel more gloom’n’grind in the near future.
The Hanged Man is available now via Advocate Records and can be purchased here.