Purling Hiss’s Mike Polizze came of age in the 1990s, a time when indie and underground shared space with classic rock on radio and TV– after “punk broke” and before the crash of the majors. And Purling Hiss’s Weirdon represents what happens when ‘80s and ‘90s underground rock becomes internalized as a set of conventions, and gets recombined with familiar staples of the first wave of classic rock.
Almost 30 years after You’re Living All Over Me and Daydream Nation, no one can knock Polizze’s deployment of the musical techniques of the Our Band Could Be Your Life-era. Weirdon does not sound like a nostalgic repetition, nor does it photocopy any one band’s sound. In fact, Polizze is mining one of the few seams left open to rock musicians: the refinement of the heavier side of underground guitar. On the one hand, electronic and dance music is finally getting the attention it deserves in the US with a genuinely committed community of fans; on the other, upper middle class professionals are consuming more and more lightweight fare inexplicably calling itself rock, punk and/or experimental. In this situation, Purling Hiss manage to make rock that sounds immediate, powerful and concentrated.
Bring out the big guitars.
Kyle Thomas’ latest album as King Tuff sheds the folkie-dreamy aura that seeped through the 2012 self-titled and lets it rip. You could forget, listening to this album that Thomas sat in for Devendra Banhart’s freak folk family photo on Cripple Crow, or that he once crooned over ephemeral acoustic tunes on the wonderful and (sadly only) Feathers album. You might remember, listening to this album, that Thomas played guitar in the metal-celebrating Mascis side project Witch, especially in “Headbanger” though its guttural growling cedes to muscle-bound bubblegum (a la one more Thomas project, Happy Birthday, come to think of it).
Still right from the beginning, Black Moon Spell carves a different niche for itself than any of the front man’s other projects, or indeed his first outing as King Tuff. Just like Ty Segall’s Slaughterhouse ditched the haze and jangle of psychedelic fuzz, Black Moon Spell powers right over its poppy, good-time predecessors. This is hard, riffing guitar rock, belligerently amplified and freaked with fuzz. If Feathers ever put you in mind of Tyrannosaurus Rex, King Tuff will recall instead the full-on, glam-tinted, guitar-thundering T. Rex of “Bang a Gong.”
Janicot, photographe, et probablement son fils ou son aide
The photographer Charles Janicot in his studio with his son or an assistant, posed with a camera and framed photographs and some sculptures (including the Venus de Milo).
Charles Janicotalbumen print
Image/Overall: 6.5 x 8.5 cm
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