Mike Polizze has previously uncorked his gnarly guitar solos on his own, behind the fuzz of a four-track recorder. For his new Purling Hiss record, Water on Mars, he steps out of the murk. Here, his touring band fills out his sound with a proper rhythm section and a bit more studio polish.
Squeal and distortion still reign on this record, though. Power rockers like "Lolita" showcase Dinosaur Jr.-like dexterity and psych-rock sludge. Polizze deadpans dude bylaws like "Everybody wants to have a good time" during "Rat Race," a charming weekend-warrior jam that's filled with crunchy riffs. This song is so tight that the title track's meandering freakout feels unwelcome. After all, a few duds are bound to crash a party this epic.