Purling Hiss is a group from Philadelphia, who (according to their Myspace) is a recent addition to the Woodsist roster, which in and of itself is an impressive feat. Their sound lies somewhere between My Bloody Valentine and The MC5. As off-putting and overwhelming noisy as that sounds, Purling Hiss takes the two ideas and reconciles them in a super pleasing manner. “Run From This City” is sort of half jam and half drone. The track has a rather abrupt start, which is a full band playing with a guitar riffing on top of it. The rhythm guitar is extremely simple, which enable the other parts to play around. The vocals are brilliantly mixed behind the rhythm guitar, which gives the song a very Stooges(y) feel. The guitar part that opens the song turns out being the chorus and while this sounds odd, it totally works. The drum sound is one of the best that The Islander has heard in a while, and putting it a bit higher up in the mix would have done it justice. The last three minutes of the song are an instrumental, and while the vocals are part of the song’s charm,h they aren’t really missed.
Jacksonville’s Emperor X has been around for over a decade, and during this period he has been very productive. Emperor X is the solo project of Chad Matheny, despite the fact that it could be mistaken for a thrash group whose collective age was less than forty. “A Violent Translation of The Concordia Headscarp” starts out with a really pretty guitar part placed over a very interesting rhythmic part that sounds like layered clapping. Chad’s vocals work incredibly well over the light instrumentation. The song’s chorus succeeds in being both compelling and catchy at the same time, which is a rare feat. It’s hard not to hum along with the tune, and with every play, it gets more engaging.
Listening to White Arrows is like listening to glorious mishmash that incorporates hints of everything from Glam to Hardcore. Their E.P., White Arrows (Free on Bandcamp, Link Below), features very energetic tracks, but also has a few calming notes. The standout track is, “8050 (Too Fast, Too Slow),” which just sort of rules. The song’s intro has a remarkable resemblance to Chromeo’s, “Mama’s Boy,” but it become clear that the two songs have very little in common. They vocals sound very influenced by Marc Bolan, and the lead vocal melody sounds very Glam-rocky. The background vocals on the other hand sound a lot like The Blood Brothers, and this juxtaposition is really interesting. The two vocal parts are layered over a very cohesive synth, guitar, drum and bass instrumental track, and as a whole, the song manages to sustain interest. White Arrows made decisions akin to The Morning Benders, and covered a Fleetwood Mac song. White Arrows’s Cover of “Save Me a Place,” really differs from anything on their self titled E.P. It is very calming and floats along, and while the song is extremely different, the group is stylistically consistent.
The first forty seconds of Infinity Skull Cube start out as a sound collage and then builds into quasi post-punk style intro with almost trace style synths. Fifty seconds in, the song takes form and a guitar part enters the mix. As weird as it this may be, the track sounds like the lost child of Gang Of Four and Pink Floyd. The song’s dead space makes for an interesting listening experience. MMDDYYYY are a Canadian group with an awesome sense of humor. The song’s outro is a very funny goof, and a spoof. While the track might be a little hard to digest, it’s absolutely worth listening to.