Spare Your Ears
Purling Hiss is kind of a mystery. Guitarist and songwriter Mike Polizze began performing under this name in 2009 when he self-released the band’s eponymous album. Now the group is a lo-fi, psychedelic power trio that makes all kinds of noise. While they may be influenced by lo-fi overlords like Neutral Milk Hotel, Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s and Apples in Stereo, this album is by no means comparable. A volatile cacophony of noise permeates the entirety of Dizzy Polizzy. To a lo-fi newcomer, the album may leave your ears bleeding and your mind wondering “why?” To a sound engineer, it might sound like a terrible mix of demo recordings.
For example, the drums are distant and muddy, the guitars blur over all of the sounds the rest of the band is making, and I’m not sure if the singer ever even approaches the microphone when he sings, making it impossible to hear or understand what he’s saying. In fact, it almost sounds like they took two SM57’s, threw them in a room, told the band to play, recorded it to a two track Casio tape recorder, and sent it to the label. And this isn’t just one song on the record; it is the entire collection of tracks. The dynamics of the songs range from bland to stale, with very little to hold a listener’s attention. Everything about this album sounds distant, muddy and unclear.
It’s understandable that this is the point of this genre– to sound unpolished and non-pop. But it sounds bad, to me, even for the genre. And this is a decently popular lo-fi band.
The only really redeeming thing about this album is “Digh High,” which has a stellar drive and rocking instrumental push. That’s really it, and the other problems present on the album are here as well. This album may appeal to fans of the subgenre, but outsiders be wary.