Water on Mars
Type "Mike Polizze" into Google Search and the first page of results all involve the Purling Hiss frontman "talking guitars." With his proclivity for classic rock riffs and a catalogue of songs with titles like "Almost Washed My Hair," Polizze fully embraces the part of nerdy guitar enthusiast/overly nostalgic rock'n'roller. But unlike your typical condescending music shop guitar tech, Polizze puts this classic rock ethos to good use on Purling Hiss's latest loud and shredding release, Water on Mars. The band's aesthetic pays homage to the late Jimi Hendrix, both on the record's Are You Experienced-style artwork and with the use of fuzzy lead guitar and wah-wah pedal on opener "Lolita." Apparently, Polizze even traded in his first Fender Jaguar for a Stratocaster when he started listening to Hendrix. However, Purling Hiss aren't just classic rock revivalists or imitators; they've clearly been well schooled in the new garage styles of the likes of Ty Segall and fellow Philadelphian Kurt Vile. The band's sound has also cleaned up considerably from the lo-fi aesthetic of their previous releases and Polizze shows that he has some serious rock'n'roll pipes hidden underneath all that fuzz. In an age where technology makes any desired sound easily attainable, the practice of leaving noisy fuzz over a recording is obviously just as intentional as removing it. The cleaner sound of Water on Mars introduces a newfound confidence to the music of Purling Hiss and it's certainly a welcome direction.
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