Cocaine Piss – ‘Piñacolalove’

By James Lee

Self-described as a ‘glittershitstorm’, Liege, Belgium’s noisiest sons (and daughter) Cocaine Piss have been tearing up stereos, venues and general presumptions about hardcore’s inherent machismo since their 2013 demo through to last year’s debut full-length, the Steve Albini-produced ‘The Dancer’. This month the band have returned with a new EP, ‘Piñacolalove’, released on Hypertension Records, and from its first blistering seconds onward it’s clear Cocaine Piss have managed to retain everything that made their previous releases so one-of-a-kind, whilst also pushing the boat out a little further sonically than they have before.

Always a cacophonic mess of squalling punk rock, Cocaine Piss appear to have taken on a marginally more extreme sound on ‘Piñacolalove’, particularly noticeable on its opening title track, which has a more overtly hardcore flavour than anything they’ve committed to tape in the past. The combination of heavy rumbling bass and guitars with singer Aurelie’s piercing shriek has resulted in something that sounds like an alleyway brawl between Trash Talk and X-Ray Spex, and though that sounds quite unpalatable on paper, Cocaine Piss’s swagger and confidence allows them to pull it off without it sounding forced.

Second track ‘Candy’ has a more menacing mood thanks to its sludgy riffs, though it’s very much a gloomier shade of neon. This is still as far from ‘dark’ music as you could possibly get whilst still retaining a decent level of heaviness. Though not a joke band in any sense, there is a fun atmosphere in Cocaine Piss’s work that’s undeniable, from their tongue in cheek lyrics (find us another band who could so earnestly plea with their audience to “find your fucking inner unicorn”) to their manic, off-the-wall riffs and bright, cartoonish artwork. It’s a refreshing alternative to much of the forcefully glum punk and hardcore that permeates the scene at the moment, and has already reaped the band much well-deserved attention.

Further cementing the band’s lack of pretension, the EP’s painfully short running time (only one song breaks the two-minute mark), is bolstered by three very diverse covers of tracks from ‘The Dancer’. These range from a screeching electronic rendition of ‘Ugly Face On’ to a plinking ukulele take on ‘Happiness’, capped off by an almost surf-y mangling of ‘Sex Weirdos’. None of these versions are superior to Cocaine Piss’s originals, but offer interesting takes on the material, and prove that the madness of the band’s songs can transcend into other forms of music easily.

‘Piñacolalove’ is a brief but highly enjoyable return from one of the most unique bands in Europe today. The Mike Patton-on-helium vocals may alienate the more gruff hardcore kids, but it’s their loss – Cocaine Piss have found their fucking inner unicorn, and are going to ride it all the way to the top.

JAMES LEE

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