Piss Factory

Piss Factory

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Naming one's band after a Patti Smith song is both a sign of intent, and a pretty high reputation to live up to, but while Piss Factory never really got anywhere, their debut album was and is a loud and enjoyable enough blast of NYC rock, mid-'90s style. Lead singer/bassist Lizzie Avondet is the understandable focus of attention, working with an at once strident and warm singing approach, while the band kicks up some fierce halfway-to-metal crunch throughout. There's a definite aura of early Siouxsie Sioux at play -- slashing feedback, Andy Markham's pounding, rolling drums, and so forth -- but the end result is more one of inspiration than of photocopying, which is a good thing indeed. Live Skull might be a more contemporary influence, but Piss Factory's sound is much more crisp and focused, a sound which producer Godfrey Diamond and engineer Tim Hatfield capture quite well. The snarling sexual politics of the lyrics, sometimes blatant ("Cleavage"'s mantra chorus of 'bend over' is hardly meant to be an invitation, while "Waiting" has a killer line with 'I couldn't wait to wear a bra, I couldn't wait to take it off'), suits Avondet's way around her vocals, both powerful and, sometimes, surprisingly calm and cool, even as the music ratchets up. Guitarists Harri Kupiainen and Paul Eng, meanwhile, are on fire, making a good claim to be one of the most underrated musical duos. Check out the brief but thrilling solos on "Minus" as a key moment of individual flair, while not discounting the brutally effective riffing throughout. "Sour Milk," the chugging biker rock kick of "Autostrada," and "Bad Day" are three of the band's collective best efforts.

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