Hijss – Stuck On Common Ground (2024)

Hijss - Stuck On Common Ground (2024)
Artist: Hijss
Album: Stuck On Common Ground
Genre: Heavy Psychedelic Rock, Krautrock
Label: Heavy Psych Sounds Records
Year Of Release: 2024
Quality: FLAC (tracks)

Tracklist:
01 – Ingraved (00:02:48)
02 – 1234 me (00:04:37)
03 – Headless blues (00:03:12)
04 – Interlude #1 (00:02:30)
05 – Train tracks (00:04:08)
06 – Narcolepsy (00:04:19)
07 – Black disease (00:04:13)
08 – Interlude #2 (00:00:56)
09 – Blow out (00:03:43)
10 – Tilt mode (00:06:11)

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Stuck on common ground is the debut album of the Italian Power Trio hijss.
With a mixture of heavy blues influenced riffs and synthesized Krautrock parts hijss tries to create a high dynamic range that will keep your attention at all time.
On top of gritty basslines and ferocious drums lie cosmic guitars, tantalizing vocals and arpeggiated electronic drones.
All three band members come from a vast musical background. Their common denominator is with out a doubt a punkish attitude.
The album was produced by Toni Quiroga and hijss, drums were recorded at Nologo Recording Studio, Laives by “holy barbarian” Fabio Sforza. Engineered, mixed and mastered at accept productions by Toni Quiroga, album cover by Luca Guarino.


‘Hijss’, interesting word eh? I suppose it could be an exclamation of sorts. How to pronounce it? Not sure. Hi Jess? Hij-iss? Hu Jass? In any case, they rock and rip. Roaring out of Northern Italy, Hijss hits with some serious aplomb.

This three piece draws from multiple influences such as punk to grunge to krautrock and delivers a sound that is eclectic as it is immensely satisfying. Heavy Psych Sounds seemingly cannot stop adding great artists to their roster, and I am pleased to say this has already made my Best of 2024 list.

Ingraved kicks off with an airy atmosphere similar to Longheads but with a bit more clarity in the overall mix and gravely ‘70s rock style vocals to boot. It’s a brief track that serves as a nice appetizer. 1234 me absolutely stomps with a driving tempo, somewhat like a much beefier Slift with some punchy keyboard synths and nasty chorus riffing to boot.

And do I need to again mention how great the mix is? I guess I do. The production is fantastic and full. All three musicians are not lost in the audio ether and maintain a brisk and solid focus throughout. Headless Blues – as the name implies – begins with a spacey blues rock vibe, but the chorus is ‘90s alt rock 101 in the spirit of Smashing Pumpkins or Failure.

This three piece draws from multiple influences such as punk to grunge to krautrock and delivers a sound that is eclectic as it is immensely satisfying…

An ethereal interlude later gives way to Train Tracks, which reminded me of an alternate universe version of Monster Magnet. Narcolepsy begins in a somewhat sleepy manner befitting its title, only for the band’s punk influences to take over for a much more sped up thrill ride. The ‘80s new wave-ish Black Disease is worthy of the dance floor with keyboard driven energy. Think early Depeche Mode with a bit more hair on the chest. But my favourite track by far is the stirring and propulsive Blow Out which begs for replay.

Hijss’ sound is as unique and perplexing as their name. It really stands head and shoulders above a lot of the usual stoner rock fare as they skilfully blend various genres and sounds to hone their musical style in a manner all their own. In my mind, they are the sort of band that newer artists should take notice of as an inspiration. This ground isn’t common, it’s something else entirely.
~ Rob Walsh

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