Is this record worth a spin? Should I buy it? Will it add to or detract
from my credibility? Should I care?
I wish someone could break it down for me.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Purling Hiss- Water On Mars

Here comes another crew of long-haired Hesher types from Philly. Is anyone from Philly anymore? You used to go there and you'd never run into someone who wasn't from Philly. Now everyone you meet there is from somewhere exotic like Wichita, Kansas or Milton, Delaware. They all want you to try out this great new restaurant in West Philly, but all you can think about is bombs being dropped down someone's chimney. Then you remember that Hall & Oates used to have long hair just like Kurt Vile. Kurt Vile is another homegrown Philly talent and the person responsible for spreading the Purling Hiss gospel. The Hiss play guitar-centric rock that is unrefined, unprocessed, and unfettered. What began as a one-man project, Mike Polizze recording blues-inspired, static-charged bursts of sonic grandeur on a 4-track, has grown into a (dare I say) semi-polished power trio. Polizze's music is a convergence of Dinosaur Jr. and Crazy Horse, yet despite the fuzzed and distorted guitar sounds, he seems to have a bit of the folk songwriter's soul in him.
Call me crazy but, after the smoke rings clear and the psychedelic squeals have dissipated, I can envision Purling Hiss playing a twilight set on stage at the Philadelphia Folk Festival, the next generation of Heshers nodding intently as they search the parking lot for fresh cigarette butts.

Buy this record during those late night runs to Wawa for 6" turkey/cranberry shorties, Tasty Klairs, & Rosenbergers Ice Tea.


Friday, March 15, 2013

Waxahatchee- Cerulean Salt

Another sparse, emotionally revealing effort from Alabama cum NYC cum Philly native Katie Crutchfield. Katie's guitar playing is simple, alternating between acoustic ballads and distorted three-chord punk arrangements, often recalling Guided By Voices. Her vocals alternatively recall Jeff Mangum, Alanis Morissette, and Mirah. Katie took umbrage with her own statement in a NY Times article in which she said that she doesn't identify herself as "punk", that labels in general stifle self-expression, but you can confidently apply the terms DIY and Riot grrrl to Waxahatchee's Cerulean Salt.

Buy this record if salt in the wound is a salve for the soul.


Terry Reid- Superlungs: The Complete Studio Recordings

Terry Reid will go down in infamy as the guy who turned down an offer from then Yardbird's guitarist Jimmy Page to front a new version of the Yardbirds, a band that would soon become Led Zeppelin. Always the gentleman, Terry politely declined and recommended a young Birmingham singer named Robert Plant instead. Terry was also considered for the lead vocalist role with Deep Purple but lost out on that as well. Coulda Shoulda and Woulda's aside, Terry Reid has led a revered musical career. He's done supporting tours with the likes of Fleetwood Mac, Cream and The Rolling Stones and has had his songs covered by The Hollies, Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, REO Speedwagon, and Cheap Trick.
Reid's trademark has always been his powerful voice, his Superlungs, a soulful, piercing instrument that bears a good resemblance to Steve Marriot's (Small Faces, Humble Pie) unrestrained belting, equally effective on tender ballads or breezy pop songs. "Funny How Time Slips Away" is the perfect amalgam of Reid's allure: understated doo-wop style vocals with inflected vocal accents that evolve into extended multi-octave runs, all over a sublime musical accompaniment of Hammond organ, xylophone, and horns. This is pretty much the definition of the perfect timeless song. Terry Reid is pretty much the definition of a supreme singer.

Buy this record if you imagine this is what you sound like singing in the shower.