So I guess for the intro I should spend a paragraph talking about the long history of the Piskie Sits? How the band has been going so long it can’t remember how old it is. I was in the recording studio the other day and the other three people were ripping me because i’d never played in the Piskie Sits. Everyone’s played in Piskie Sits, they tell me.
Well one of the interesting things about Piskie Sits is that you don’t need to hear much of a song – let alone an album – to know it is them, and given the long haul and the personnel changes that is pretty impressive.
So it goes with this, their third album, released on Philophobia Music. It’s still got the things I loved about the old records; great songwriting, great delivery from frontman Craig throughout, great production that has dragged the best out of these songs and isn’t afraid to POP things up.
The way it moves forward is that it feels like there is alot more going on here, different instruments shining across the tracks, more ideas vying for attention, more one-off sections or touches. Yet most refreshing is that this isn’t a record that follows the trajectory – how shall I put this? – of the bands increasing age. Or more precisely, this isn’t a record interested in being respectable or mature. Which isn’t to say it is amateurish – far from it. Instead, the band have collectively and individually improved but are still pursuing that quintessential perfect Piskies sound.
I see this expressed in joyful, uptempo tracks, inventive playing and even in it’s darker moments a solid vein of musical passion committed to tape, which is a tough thing to do. The first single ‘Cold Heart’ was a great track and an example of the inventive production and commitment to a pop ideal. Especially in the first 4 of 5 tracks, I enjoy that ideas aren’t given space to breathe; some pass you by on the first listen but startle you on the second and like all great pop records, there is much more going on that you’d expect. It’s a sprint out of the blocks.
Midway through, ‘Ffactions’ is the one time the Piskies go off script, with a lumbering and string laden piece of Doom. After that, there is a slightly more anthemic feel to the tracks, ‘Who Do You Love’ maybe being the pick.
Of course, the elephant in the room seems to be that very question that the Piskies coined themselves all those years ago: ‘What Is The Point?’ Will this take them to ‘the next level’? Will it be ‘successful’? Who even knows that this all means anymore. Why bother writing a review? Why bother reading it?
I can’t and won’t place this individual record in the context of a 65 year industry but I guess I can offer my advice as to whether this is worth your time and – in some extreme cases – your money. It is. It absolutely is. For me it is the most consistent and best record of the Piskies career, it flies the flag for music made with integrity, passion and skill and is great fun to boot.
Hear / buy it HERE.