Purling Hiss, Youngstrr Joey at Broadcast, 23/3/15

It’s a tale of two power trio’s this evening as Philadelphia’s Purling Hiss and homegrown talents Youngstrr Joey commandeer Broadcast’s subterranean stage for an hour or two of noise laden revelry.

Despite the initial billing of 8pm Youngstrr Joey eventually commence their sonic assault roughly an hour later, offering up a punchy and rapid set comprised mostly of material from their Cheerleader EP.

From the off the band set about kicking some life into this listless Monday evening with their brand of chaotic and heartfelt music, which, despite the shrugged demeanour and proclivity for volume, displays moments of distinct melody and the odd earworm chorus.

Up until a month or so ago, my relationship with Purling Hiss had not progressed further than their seemingly wilfully ramshackle earlier records, wherein I got the impression of a band lacking a clear sense of purpose and direction.

Thankfully those lo-fi tendencies seem all but forgotten now as recent records, such as 2014’s Weirdon and 2013’s Water on Mars (produced by Adam Granduciel of The War on Drugs), now boast material indebted to the classic rock/punk mould.

One thing clearly evident in watching Purling Hiss live is that you don’t have to love guitars to like the band, but it sure helps.

Frontman Mike Polizze’s enthusiasm and command of the guitar is what best characterises their sound and tonight his prodigious solos, arpeggios and slashing chords are generously showcased.

All of which would get old pretty fast were it not for the rhythmic pulse set by Kiel Everett and Ben Leaphart, as their locked down grooves not only afford the material greater depth, but provide much of the thrust and swing that both Polizze and the audience feed off.

With barely half the room filled, tonight’s gig could easily have dulled the spirit’s of all concerned, however I’m glad to report this wasn’t the case as both performers and audience muster enough good vibes to ensure everyone comes away with far more than what they thought they would.

Words: Brendan Sloan

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