Purling Hiss | Drag on Girard | Drag City

Review: Purling Hiss – Drag on Girard

National Music Reviews

Purling Hiss
Drag On Girard

Drag City
Street: 03.24
Purling Hiss = Meth Wax + The Intelligence + The Undertones 

Purling Hiss are known for blending elements of psychedelic, garage and punk rock into a finely calibrated sound. They have released several albums since their 2009 debut and have garnered a cult following for their energetic live performances. Their latest release, Drag On Girard, can be fuzzy, abrasive and at times chaotic, but the album still brings a melodic and catchy ambiance.

Drag On Girard is a raging amalgamation of late-’70s, pop-rock guitar solos and the rambunctious reemergence of the off-bent alternative punk scene of the 2010s. Characterized by heavy, distorted guitar riffs and driving rhythms, Purling Hiss are versed in a range of musical styles. Drag On Girard has a little bit of everything, from its classic-rock song formulas (complete with mid-song guitar solos) to its punk-esque distorted tones. Chock full of power plays and raw, energetic lyrics, Purling Hiss have elevated their sound from previous albums that featured more pop-forward tracks when compared to the rock-heavy sounds that appear on Drag On Girard.

All of this in tow, there is something nostalgic about Drag On Girard, similar to the first time I’d heard Misfits—classic and full of angst, personal and original all its own. Drag On Girard brings a high-functioning and power-amped album full of ear-piercing and full-bodied enthusiasm to the table. Each song immediately roars with some form of electric, hair-raising guitar. Though Mike Polizze’s vocal may be slightly muddled at times, it never distracts from completely immersing its listeners.

The early released single “Yer In All My Dreams” garnered my full interest with its boisterous, distorted and enigmatic melody. Electric guitar solos pound through my headphones, and I can’t help but bounce my head back and forth to the playful tune that sounds something like a cross between Stiff Little Fingers crushed guitar harmonics and The Knack’s addictive guitar solos in “My Sharona.” 

Though it’s tough to pick just one song from this album as my favorite, “Baby” sticks out. Short and somewhat sweet, the track clocks in at just over two minutes long and it’s thoroughly intoxicating thanks to Polizze’s gruff, passionate voice as he sing-screeches, “She said she gonna have a baby / She going take over I will the world / She gonna take over the planet / She gonna take everything, baby.” Polizze’s vocals strike again with their powerful and emotional delivery, always reflecting the band’s energetic and eclectic style. Polizze’s voice is an essential part of the Purling Hiss sound for its intense ability to effortlessly convey the emotion and energy of the band’s music.

Drag On Girard soars above other albums and showcases Purling Hiss’s innate ability to blend different rock genres into a unique and powerful sound. I give it high praise for its strong songwriting, powerful performances and relentless energy. Explosive and corrosive, Purling Hiss continue to bring us the distinctly unique sound that stands apart from other bands through its uncompromising approach to rock and roll. –Sage Holt

Read more reviews of rock releases from Drag City:
Review: No Age – Snares Like a Haircut
Review: Cate Le Bon – Rock Pool