by Derric Miller
Staff Writer —
Cranking a good drinking song can sometimes be more cathartic than going to confession if you are Catholic or refilling your Viagra prescription if you are … one of “those” guys. On Paisty Jenny’s new EP, Head in a Haze, you will hear one of the best party/drinking songs to come out that haven’t been penned by AC/DC—the title track—and a bunch of pure, no-frills rockers that have “hit” slathered all over them. And it’s about damn time …
A few months back, Paisty Jenny released their first single and video from Head in a Haze called “Anything.” If you are familiar whatsoever with Paisty Jenny, many of their songs are not merely put together because the words rhyme; lead singer/guitarist/songwriter Gregg Lee scribes compositions that oftentimes tell a story, a kind of “Everyman” ability that hits you on much more than just a headbanging level. (You can go back and listen to “It’s All Around” or “Better Man” off their prior release Spilling Mercury to understand the point, or “Midlife Crisis” before that.) “Anything” is another one of those songs … a track about cheating, how much it hurts everyone involved, and the video visually depicts all of that carnal misery to a more poignant extent. On top of all the emotional destruction, the song rocks like hell; it’s heavy, it chugs, and the hook on the chorus is brazenly mammoth. “I would have done anything for you, you know this love is true … but you threw it all away!” Unfortunately, everyone has most likely been there, and here’s your new cheating (or non-cheating) anthem in all its glory.
For sheer snarl effect, “Back of Your Hand” is a sleazy, adrenaline-laced song where you’ll hear Lee shout and menacingly beg for abusive love. Even the beginning of the track is foreboding, semi-bluesy, mid-tempo, and the edge slides in Lee’s smooth vocals and chorus hits with a fist-pump to the face. It’s wicked fun, but pales compared to the opening track.
“Head in a Haze” is that aforementioned party song, another storytelling venture about backstage antics, hotel room rutting, and this is the first recording with new guitarist Stan Liberty. If you’ve seen Paisty Jenny live, Liberty brings a metal-tinge to everything he plays, which overall makes this mostly mainstream rock band slightly more rabid, which is just what they needed. Not that they were “safe” before Liberty joined, but hearing him tear into the solos here and on the other tracks brings a toothless grin to your face. With Tye Lovette murdering the drums as he is want to do and his counterpart/bassist Gabe Matthews’ ability to make even “Mary Had a Little Lamb” sound pornographic, everything is ripe and ready to be plucked on Head in a Haze.
Lest you think the band is all about soullessness, drinking and naked Twister, they end the EP with “My Way Home.” Do they get existential? Well, listen to lines like “Singing songs about my life, but there’s nothing to say,” or “Don’t know where I’m going to, but I know where I’ve been,” and you might make a Walden-ish leap. It’s all ear candy, with deft acoustic sections buoyed by electric riffing, and it’s also “uplifting!” The sing-along factor is measureless, and you’ll be humming to it for hours after the final notes fade away …
Head in a Haze is proof again that the more a band tours, the more it records, and the more they collectively LIVE, their music grows exponentially in tandem. Paisty Jenny gets everything right on Head in a Haze. So whether you want to get wasted, cheat, enter into a co-dependent acidic relationship, just be happy, or all of the above … Paisty Jenny has you covered.
2. Back of Your Hand
4. Head in a Haze
5. Sad Songs
6. My Way Home
Label: Direct Hit Records
Genre: Hard rock
Hardrock Haven rating: 9/10