Pisse - Kohlrübenwinter #1
Beau Travail BT - 12/Phantom PHNTM15. 7” 4 track EP/DL
Pisse - Kohlrübenwinter #2
Harbinger Sound 162/In A Car 004. 7” 4 track EP/DL
Discovering that ex German Chancellor Helmut Kohl’s surname translated into English as ‘cabbage’ was a defining moment in my continuing education. Since then I’ve always referred to him as Helmut Cabbage although I must admit that the opportunity to use this in conversation is somewhat limited now. The surnames of German chancellors have always interested me, other favourites include the charismatic Willy Brandt and of course the redoubtable and first ever chancellor Otto Von Bismarck, a man whose surname translates as 'accident in your keks'.
Pisse is the German word for piss. No surprises there. The surprise is that these eight tracks of shouty German hardcore punk mixed with 1930’s film samples, whipping vids and speeches [not Hitler but someone with a shouty voice] had me wishing it was 1983 all over again. 1983: a watermark year for those in the punk industry seeing as how some deem it the year punk finally chucked its scribbled on leather jackets and 16 hole DM’s into the cupboard under the stairs.
To be honest I don’t listen to that much German punk hardcore anymore. I don’t listen to that much punk full stop. Me being nearer retirement age than getting excited about Friday night age I find my punk excitement comes in very short spurts but when I’m introduced to a band as exciting as Pisse I have to bend my head slightly forward, turn it to the speaker and announce that yes, if I had enough beer down me, I would be one of those jumping up and down on the beerhall table.
They work best when the drummer is giving it the military medium, the guitar a choppy rasping thing but its not all like that; Dienstleistungsgesellschaft [oh the beauty of the German language - Service Society] is a mellower affair with a slowed down distorted vocal giving us the title as Pisse singer warbles in a high falsetto as a synthy keyboard wanders all over the end of it. Shit, these kids have got it all. The rollocking opener on #1 Fahradsattel [Bicycle Saddle] comes complete with whips and a chug-a-long Container Drivers-esque beat call and response all over and done in 1.49. Vernissage has a trebly high end bass and so nods to Hooky, the weedy synth gives it a Units feel.
The smattering of samples; wolves, whips and old films, give Pisse a depth that many punk bands lack and while these two singles [complete with fold out sleeves, lyrics and grainy design] are two stand alone singles they work well as an album and an album of punk tunes that keeps me interested is a rare thing indeed. I must be a fan.