Image: Psycho Kiss, Grit

Psycho Kiss

The first of the surprises of 2017 has come to my inbox. For no other reason than I thought the name of the band was lousy and their press release mentioned Halestorm, I decided to download this release and see what was going on. I’m so glad I did. While Psycho Kiss is not breaking any kind of new ground to speak of, they are just a kick ass band. The Halestorm comparison is fairly legitimate musically, as they have a slightly heavier but ultimately the same musical style as Lzzy Hale’s band. But the voice - damn. Just damn! Helen Ceri Clarke is fucking amazing. She’s got some of that Lzzy Hale swagger, but sounds more like Tesla’s Jeff Keith than Hale. It’s a whiskey soaked, powerful woman’s voice and it’s truly compelling.

Clarke is the main reason I love this band, but it’s not her alone. In very much the same way Heart cut through popular music of the 70s with attacking songs that just felt different and powerful, GRIT could do the same in radio rock if given the chance. Listening to songs like “Scream Queen”, you can’t help but feel it. This song will be at the top of any Active Rock radio chart if even a single dumbass programmer would go against his spreadsheet and just put this in heavy rotation. It’s not just Clarke though. This band is tight as Hell with compelling riffs from Paul O’Brien and Pete Rose and a strong thump underneath it from bassist Tom Williams and drummer Penfold. Songs like “Grit” or “Down” have all the elements of great rock music; elements that are so lost on today’s more gimmick oriented mainstream rockers of the moment.

PITRIFF RATING - 97/100 - There’s been a ton of great music that’s come forth already in 2017, and this one is near the top of the list for me. You can throw all the female names in there you want for comparisons (Lzzy Hale, Janis, Ann Wilson) and you wouldn’t be wrong. You also wouldn’t be doing this band justice. If you like straight up hard rock, try this one on Spotify. If you dig it, buy it. My hunch - you’ll definitely want to own this one. Seriously strong stuff.

Chris Akin

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