by Chris Harris (@depthandcurrent)
I like to get a first impression of an album with little, if any, context about the circumstances surrounding its creation. PC Worship’s new EP, “Basement Hysteria,” makes this very difficult. Whether it’s the album title, the jam sessions, the co-conspirators’ contributions, or the beautiful tension that’s often present in these songs, a big part of this record’s identity lies in how it came to be.
This isn’t “jam band” music that you’re going to quit your job to follow on tour 300 days a year. This is art punk. It’s dangerous and unpredictable. It’s challenging and beautiful. The songs develop out of improvisational jams the way some of Sonic Youth’s best songs do. And, they develop into the kind of heavy hooks and raw earnestness of vision that you hear from a band like Naomi Punk.
“Basement Hysteria” is an EP, but its four long-form songs add up to 37 minutes of music. The basic tracks were recorded live with overdubs used mostly for adding inspiring avant-garde contributions from acquaintances. This record is paced like a great live show. It draws you in. You get lost in it. Then it snaps you back to attention. Then it pulls again. The recording sounds incredible. The drums sound huge and perfectly drive the songs. Guitar and bass is heavy and thick. The mixes are engaging. There’s an immediacy in both the compositions and the sound.
On the fourth, final, and title track, “Basement Hysteria,” PC Worship doubles down on the challenging improvisational aspects that have been present throughout the record. Honestly, if you’ve made it this far into a great meal, you’re not choosing an easily digestible dessert. You want something indulgent. This track is delicious. It brings a fittingly deranged close to this collection of songs.