It’s been well over a year since Bury four-piece Pist compiled their debut EP (2014’s Riffology) and album (2015’s Rhythm & Booze) into the 68 OFO compilation, so it’s high time the quartet served up something new. Thankfully, their brand new album Hailz is set to drop on 8th November through APF Records, a label who are fast becoming one of the UK’s premiere outlets for quality riffs.
This much is exemplified by Pist, whose main draw is their innate ability to craft irresistible, groove-laden riffs. The band weave a southern rock-tinged strain of stoner metal into a punky style of heavy metal reminiscent of Motörhead, complete with the raspy vocals of frontman Dave Rowlands. This time around, the band have mixed things up with the odd touch of black metal, which offers a suitably darker feel to an album that touches on loss, hatred, the horrid state of the world around us and other such cheerful topics.
Find out more about these themes, as well as the creation of the LP’s seven songs, in the following track-by-track breakdown put together by Rowlands.
The opener. This is dedicated to our brother Eytan who sadly took his own life just before we entered the studio. This song had the working title of ‘Taake’ for it’s black metal vibes. Lyrically it’s a tribute to our late brother’s fucking relentless lifestyle; he managed to cram some mad shit, over half or which you probably wouldn’t believe over those 33 years. The name of the track, ‘Ex-Nihilo’, was a tattoo he had – me and him got tattooed in Sunderland when I lived up there and always said we’d form a band named that. We never did unfortunately! The name ‘Ex-Nihilo’ means “out of nothing” in Latin. We felt this was a fitting tribute to open the record. Hail Eytan!
This is one that I wrote the music for and I fucking love it! It’s got a kind of Crowbar/Superjoint intro then it bursts into some mad riff using inverted chords with an aggressive vocal attack. Lyrically it’s about given a middle finger to anyone who’s ever given you shit to be honest. I even got to lob the word “sket” in there! I love the chorus riff of this song – apparently John [Nicholson, guitar] found this a bastard to play! Then we have the bass/drum breakdown which just adds to the journey of this song and then back into having your head kicked in. Dynamically I think this tune is class.
This is the first single off the record. We’ve had this song written for a while now and played it a fair few times to close the set. The working title was ‘Mantar’ after our love for fucking Mantar! This song’s lyrically about just having no hope for the world around us, the absolute shite you’re slung on a daily basis, the morons that stand in power spewing their crap to us and the fact people lap this shit up and believe it, we will never be anything like those cunts! Musically, it’s got some psyched-out intro before going into some groovy metal. There’s another black metal riff with [bassist Mike] Collins delivering some savage vocals before jamming out and kicking back in with the verse/chorus groove. It seemed like the perfect song to introduce this new sound. We recorded the video with Ash Gollings whilst we played a few shows with Orange Goblin earlier this year.
Fools Gave Chase
This is another one I wrote the guitar riff for, not the solo though – that’s all John and what a bloody good solo it is! To be honest, lyrically this is also about my contempt for modern life, it’s about removing yourself from “what you’re meant to be” and silencing the pricks that try and loom over you and frown upon something cause it’s not to their taste! I think this song will definitely become a setlist favourite!
If I Was You…
This had the working title of ‘UADA’. Me, John and Hunty [Andy Hunt, drums] caught their show in Nottingham a while back and they blew us away with the ferocity of their set! John came up with this one. I think it’s one of the only songs on the record that actually kept the structure it started with. Lyrically it talks about people not having a voice and no longer thinking for themselves.
Strangle The Sun
This is probably the most “out there” song on the album. We got our mates Jack and Pete from Elephant Tree to do backing vocals on this one. We’re big fans of Elephant Tree and love their vocal harmonies so really wanted them to contribute and fortunately they were happy to do so! The song has a really spaced out verse and chorus to it before getting into a groovy heavier bit where my vocals join the party. I wrote the lyrics for this and sent my idea for the vocal parts over to the ET lads who had a play with it before recording theirs. I think their vocals are quite subtle in comparison to my own harsh vocals which works really well, in my opinion. We’re really happy with how this one came out and it’s a bit of calm before the finale.
Skin Your God
This one has been played in our set for a while now and I think it was always going to be the song to close the album before we’d even made that decision, mainly due to its huge epic ending – that riff could just go on and on and on. This is probably the catchiest song on the record. It’s full of all the groove and nastiness you’d expect from us but has a pretty chilled out section before a ferocious black metal bit leading into the big ending. This song flows really well and it’s one of my favourites to play live. Nice one to anyone who’s actually read up to this point! Hopefully you’ll enjoy the record as much as we do! Hailz!
Words: George Parr