PSSGS – Self-Titled

Artist: PSSGS

Title: Self-Titled

Release: Tape / Digital 

Year: 2014

Label: Fear of Heights Records

First of all, I have to admit the whole DIY Conspiracy crew is utterly touched by the fact Fear of Heights approached us to review the new material, written by the very same Bremen hardcore people who in 2000 turned Screamo upside down and were able to influence multitude of bands. PSSGS come from Darmstadt, Germany and are kind of connected through their bass player to the ultra-chaotic, yet quite metallic, screamo act Acheborn and the way more experimental The Data Break. Both names, which have left such a mark on the emo/screamo scene, which the current German hardcore bands can only dream of and I sincerely hope PSSGS are here to stay and change our music once again.

Before I get to the essence of what I heard in their debut tape I’d like to make a tiny remark to all label owners in the universe. It’s inspired by the press-release which I got for PSSGS’s self-titled, which was so full of references to other bands, that one can barely get a clue which band exactly was the subject of the release they are promoting. Seriously people, leave music alone, forget that “For Fans of” bullshit, forget those references to currently hyped bands, whose members in this case have probably grew up listening to Acheborn. Not only is that offensive to the musicians, but for the listeners as well. If I want to listen to At The Drive-In I’ll play them I won’t be on the looks for something similar. Enough with the PR discipline, getting to the point now.

PSSG’s self-titled is a small tape EP which is officially coming out on October 9th. The track above is one of the four pieces that PSSGS decided to debut with. First of all, great packaging. Engraved, wooden tape cases, assembled and numbered by hand, strictly limited to 100. Already looking for the purchase button, right? You’ll have to wait few more weeks.

Music-wise the EP stays interesting from the first to its very last second. With production kinda similar to a post-rock record, still not sterile at all, but dynamic and powerful, the EP gives you perfect view to all its details, sonic decorations and elements. The PSSGS guys have approached their new project more emotional than aggressive. However, they have perfectly balanced their music between melody, energy and experimentation. PSSGS is based on build-ups, repetition (especially lyric-wise) and anticipation. It goes from atmospheric and ambient instrumental soundscapes to harsh and noisier peaks. This is both in terms of individual song development and the EP as a whole. The record may be a small one (spanning to just a bit over 18 minutes), but shows extreme musical maturity and sounds as if each note and rhythmic change have been revised over and over again so they reach ultimate symbiosis. The only thing that kinda puts me back is the pretentiousness of the spoken word passages. We already have La Dispute’s Jordan Dreyer whining in their each and every album, we definitely don’t need more of that (I’m throwing this reference only because Fear of Heights seem to be into that hahaha, no hard feelings whatsoever).

Angel S.

Freelance journalist and full-time copywriter from hell. Playing ambient & drone music as Mytrip, teaching Sound Art, booking shows with For The Kids & Amek Collective. Always in for a cup of coffee.