LUCKY 7 is the new feature where we ask bands to name their 6 favourite songs by others, and a lucky 7th song of their own…here’s the first installment by PURLING HISS. Yes you read that right.



Photography by Aaron Biscoe. Cheers.

Purling Hiss is the pleasing Spooner-ism adopted by Mike Polizze when he makes music that sounds like it was recorded a second after the Minutemen’s “Double Nickels on the Dime” and an increment before the songs that became Pavement’s “Westing”. After moving from the bedroom lo-fi set up to a full studio band and working with  Adam Granduciel from War on Drugs, Purling Hiss are now a fully touring entity with a second fully blasting record on Drag City pleasingly called “Weirdon”. Just prior to some storming UK shows, I asked Mike for his Lucky 7 songs…and it’s on a bit of an 80s tip.


What made you choose the songs you’ve chosen?

I just go with whatever I’m listening to. You know what’s funny, I always draw a blank like a lot of creative people do when asked what are they inspired by, cos you go oh my god I only have one chance to name a load of bands and I like so many things and I don’t want to seem limiting you know. When it comes to choosing songs though it’s what have I been listening to in the last 7 days. I might be on an eighties kick right now because I play a lot of chorus effect on my guitar these days which has an eighties feel and a lot of these bands I’m listening to I’ve been listening to for years.

1. Killing Joke – Fire Dances

I like early Killing Joke stuff. I think they have a lot of bad music too but some of those 80s videos like “Fire Dances”and “(something) Blood” with the chorus effect on the guitar are really cool.

2. PiL – This Is Not A Love Song

I like PiL and Johnny Rotten/John Lydon. I really love the first album a lot, but “This Is Not A Love Song” that was a fun one. I was watching the Youtube video the other day. Lydon was a great frontman. He seems pissed off and angry. He’s a poster boy for punk. “You never listen to a word I say” that’s the lyric to Public Image, it’s pretty cool.

3. Fleetwood Mac – Everywhere

I really like early Fleetwood Mac too. It’s funny it’s almost illegal to like it. The song “Everywhere” is super catchy and some of those pop hooks man, it’s kind of funny. I steal them, I lift them from 80s pop sometimes and put them through guitar rock, it’s an interesting process. Do you know that old song we do “Run From The City”? It sounds like a classic rock song but it’s almost like I lifted the hook from an old Madonna song and put it through the rock filter.

4. Cameo – Candy

Cameo oh my god they have so many great music videos you can just sit there and watch Cameo all day. The music’s cool I like it. I like how they brought the funk from the 70s and turned it into this 80s thing. The early 80s stuff is cool too. “Candy” is 1985 or something, but it’s a black hole of Youtube videos there’s so many and that’s a great one.

Ever been tempted to wear a red codpiece like Cameo?

You never know, maybe. I might have to watch it a few more times to convince myself.

5. Dream Syndicate – Definitely Clean

I love that album so much, even more than the other ones. I like that EP that came out before which has some of the same songs and it’s really raw but “Days of Wine and Roses” – I just keep coming back to it after all these years. I should probably go to the one after it, “Medicine Show”. I couldn’t get into that but maybe I didn’t give it a chance. I loved some of those Paisley Underground bands like Rain Parade, but Dream Syndicate were my favourite. The Bangles were Paisley Underground but I don’t know why, maybe the early music sounds that way but I just know “Walk Like An Egyptian”.

6. Brian Jones Died For Your Sins (compilation) – any song

It’s just a compilation I found on Youtube a couple of years ago. I don’t know anything about the bands, all I know is apparently they’re Italian garage bands from the 80s and it still has that 80s feel. It’s not very one dimensional garage rock, it has a bit more to it which is cool and I just couldn’t really choose a single song but I thought it would be fun to share and then it’s out there. I saw the artwork and thought it was really cool, just Brian Jones picture and there were some handwritten notes, black & white photocopies, it has a similar aesthetic to a punk rock fanzine.

7. Purling Hiss – Learning Slowly

I like the album “Weirdon” as a whole – they all take on their own little world and their own personalities but one I can choose that represents Purling Hiss for “Weirdon” I’d have to whittle it down to the two singles I released “Forcefield of Solitude” or “Learning Slowly” or one that I think people really love is the last song “Six Ways of Sunday”. I’ll go with “Learning Slowly” because that’s a song that captures the pop sensibility I had when writing the album, and it still sounds like a rock song and live we stretch out the last part and the band has worked it into a good jam and crescendo. I like that song because it talks about coming of age and learning as you go and being at a crossroads. It’s not lyrically too profound but it is honest and it has a good swing to it. That was at the top of the list for the album – that was a big one for us to record.

Read my interview with Mike Polizze of Purling Hiss on the most excellent Caught In The Crossfire zine here:

and my review of “Weirdon” here:


Photography by Tiffany Yoon. Thanks.