The Hiss : Panic Movement

...brace yourselves for the Big Big Noise

It’s not the sinister slither of gutter-snakes in the rock’n’roll undergrowth. It’s not the disapproving rasps from the backbenches of the N*w R*ck R*v*l*t**n. No, this is the tense, electric hiss of amps turned up to a million and eleven, shortly before a billion decibel powerchord blows your colon clean through your spinal column. The expectant hiss of silence before the Big Noise. Sssssssssss…

‘Panic Movement’ delivers like a PCP-frenzied Parcelforce. Admittedly we’re not pushing the garage envelope too far here: rather than penning a fresh chapter in the nu rock rulebook, The Hiss have made a [I]Concise Indie Almanac[/I] covering the past decade. It works backwards from ‘Clever Kicks’ ([a]Kings of Leon[/a] getting fist-kissed by Rocket From The Crypt) through ‘Back On The Radio’ (Black Datsuns Motorcycle Jet), ‘Hard To Lose’ (maudlinGreen Day) and ‘Listen To Me’ (Southern Fried ‘Wonderwall’) to the – oh yes – Shed Seven bombast of ‘Step Aside’. Yet the whole thing fizzes with a wired guitars-on-sleeve honesty and an artful intelligence more akin to The Mars Volta after an emergency jazzectomy than[a]The Datsuns[/a]’ deadheaded dolt rock.

It’s there in the nod to 60s surrealist art collectives in the album title; in lines like “[I]Imagine being cursed amphibious[/I]” (‘Triumph’) which only Robert Harvey out of [a]Music[/a] could ever relate to; and in the album’s spook-laden centrepiece ‘Ghost’s Gold’ – a [a]Tom Waits[/a]ian voodoo funeral march through midnight New Orleans made all the more haunting by what sounds like someone hammering on the inside of the coffin. Brrrr

The Hiss know they were born to rock, they’re just not sure (I)in which way(I) they should best be rocking. But this scattergun approach serves them well as ‘Panic Movement’ sees them try their hands, brilliantly, at the various styles of their peers and elders. Soon, though, they will sound like nothing but The Hiss. And then, friends, brace yourselves for the Big Big Noise.

Mark Beaumont