Seattle is the birthplace of grunge, but Pisswand is putting the city on the map for a totally different genre. The 3 piece band creates a fusion of heavy punk and metal that fits together seamlessly. In 2017 the band released their debut in the form of a self-titled 4 track EP. The band also got the attention of the label Amerikan Aesthetics who will be releasing the Pisswand’s upcoming album ‘Apex Prisoner’ which boasts 10 jaw shattering tracks. The new album was engineered and mixed by Robert Cheek at No-Count Studios in their hometown of Seattle, Washington and mastered by Blake Bickel at Dynamic Sound Service Mastering Studio also in Seattle. ‘Apex Prisoner’ will be released digitally as well as on cassette on February 9, 2019. The band has a show already booked on the date ‘Apex Prisoner’ releases, you can see the band live that night as well as pick up your copy of the cassette too. See them live on Saturday February 9th at Fat Cat Records with Great Falls, City of Industry and Trash Cult.
Pisswand was kind enough to send me a copy of the cassette well in advance of the albums release. Starting things off with side one is the track “Divide And Smite.” The song has a constant beat that is much heavier than your run of the mill punk rock but carries the same upbeat pace. One of the best things about the song is how the vocals are spaced out. You get Adam’s vocals here and there and then stretches of instrumentation before the harsh screaming chimes in again. The track also has the classic ending with ample amounts of feedback. Adam who also plays guitar introduces these riffs that remain quite sludgy throughout each track, the real showstopper is Todd’s drumming on this album. There are moments where the drums get isolated especially in the track “Barricade.” They keep the time and the momentum going in each and every song. The title track “Apex Prisoner” changes things up just a bit. The riffs have a slightly different tone and the song also incorporates more groove than the previous tracks. There is a section of the song that has this haunting exchange in riffs and Brock’s thick bass licks that instantly reminds you of Black Sabbath. The title track also shows that the vocals can be more drawn out. On most of the album the vocal approach is punchy, Adam comes in with a quick stanza and then retreats to allow the instruments to take over. Flipping over to side two the first track there is “Weaponized.” The intro to the track “Entrench/Decay” is simply amazing. It has this classic doom sound as it begins, then Pisswand blends it into their crusty hardcore punk sound. Again on this track the drummer Todd really knocks this song out of the park and simultaneously helps create a groove and flow to the track. “Transfix” doesn’t have any sort of intro, as soon as the song begins you are plunged right into the fast past chaos of Pisswand’s aggressive sound. This is one band that I can promise will never release a ballad, it’s pedal to the medal or nothing at all.
Pisswand describe their music pretty well when they declare it’s a fusion of heavy punk and metal. There is certainly fast paced influence from classic punk, but you get the heavy down tuned and sludgy riffs that are likely inspired from the metal genre. The vocals may remind you more of grindcore or hardcore at times. Pisswand create a great fluidity within their music that keeps it interesting and never becoming stagnant. They allow their instrumentation to fully impact each song and allow perfectly timed breaks between the vocals chiming in. I also must confess it’s great to hear something on cassette again, as it’s been quite a long time since I have had the pleasure of using my old school tape deck. Just like vinyl the cassettes have a specific sound that you don’t get when you hear an album streaming online or even on a cd. Pick up the cassette via Amerikan Aesthetics and re-live the old days of tape trading.
Brock on bass