14.47 min • Dead Rodent Records • March 1, 2012
From the Midwestern hell-hole of Indianapolis, IN comes PissArtist, a group of five angry young men dedicated to putting the sting and bite back into the fledging Midwestern punk scene. This 7-inch EP is their debut release and smashing through thirteen songs in roughly fifteen minutes, this is a band out to take no prisoners; there’s no time for anything pretty or fancy, just time to get in your face with a sonic assault.
Side ‘Suicide’ opens with ‘Trust’, a minute and a half blast of old school hardcore punk, mixed in with a heavier metallic influence. The band’s sound comes off like the bastard three way love child of Minor Threat, Motorhead and early Corrosion of Conformity. It’s fast, dirty and heavy, with lyrics being spit out and guitars and bass thrashing along. There is a part towards the end where the band slows down just a bit, bringing a touch of sludge to their hardcore sound.
Picking up right where the first track left off, ‘Six’ is a straight up hardcore burner, a minute and ten seconds of old school vicious punk, a track that could definitely get the pit moving in five seconds flat.
‘Destroy’ is one of my favorite cuts on the ‘suicide’ side of the record; it starts off in a blitz of pure speed, sounding almost like early Napalm Death in its furious attack, before slowing down half way through to a sludgy crawl as lead singer Rats barks out his lyrical rage. The track closes with the same old style grindcore speed in which it began.
‘Hoelatta spit’ is a true treat for hardcore punk fans, clocking in at just twenty seconds. It’s a brief burn of punk energy that harkens back to the days of sweaty basement shows, where bands and fans gather to release all their anger against society.
‘Ruined’ and ‘Seratonin’ are the closers for the ‘suicide’ side, a twin explosion of about three minutes total. ‘Ruined’ starts with that slow, sludgy energy before going into straight hardcore speed and ‘Seratonin’ feeds off that closing burst of fury, sounding almost death metal in its distortion soaked guitar riffs and squeals. Only Rats’ vocals keep it punk, otherwise it would be a pure metal song.
The flipside of the record, the ‘homicide’ side, starts with a bit of political humor in a number called ‘VPR’, which stands for ‘Vegan Pizza Rules’. The band’s aggressive sound masks the lyrics a bit, but their heavy sound and dedication aside, the lyrics certainly reflect the adolescent humor that makes punk what it is, “Hand me a slice/and make my life complete/with vegan pizza”.
The ‘homicide’ side features more short bursts with the tracks, ‘Idealism’, ‘Death’, ‘Talk’ and ‘No Friends’ clocking in at less than a minute a piece. These shots of audio violence keep this side of the 7-inch spinning at a frantic pace as the band just turns their amps to full bake and burn everything in their sight.
‘Holy Ghost’ is the longest cut on the ‘homicide’ side, clocking in a roughly two-minutes and featuring more of that metal-like sludgy creep that the band has established earlier in the record. It’s a blasphemous number, displaying the atheism often seen in American hardcore. This is the sonic middle finger to the men of the cloth in Indiana.
In terms of production, this actually sounds pretty clean, especially for a punk record. Most punk records are recorded in basements with a four-track tape deck, resulting in a much muddier, blended sound. With this 7-inch, each instrument cuts cleanly through the mix as the guitars, bass, drums and vocals ring clearly and violently.
I was pleasantly surprised at this record; it’s great to hear the old-school violent energy of hardcore punk again. And PissArtist stand above the mess of punk out there today; while their sound is strongly rooted in punk’s sonic assault, they aren’t afraid to mix other sounds and influences into their punch of audio anarchy.