Direct Hit Records recently announced its emerging hard rock act “Paisty Jenny” has entered Loud Palace in Weed, CA to record their next full length album. The new record, with its title yet to be chosen, is expected to be the very best offering from this energetic, hard-working, touring rock band.
With three successful records already under their belt, Detours, Spilling Mercury and Head in a Haze, Paisty Jenny’s approach to the new full-length is taking the process of making a record to soaring new heights with the engagement of acclaimed music producer Sylvia Massy at the helm. Read more
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
by Derric Miller
Paisty Jenny checked in with Hardrock Haven to talk about their killer brand new EP Head in a Haze; how they hooked up with producers Michael Beck and Brad Vance; how the new-ish guitarist Stan Liberty entered the fold; the video for “Anything;” how the songwriting process works this time around; upcoming tour plans; hot chicks in killer videos; and a whole lot more.
You really need to hear the new EP Head in a Haze and their new single “Anything” starts a nationwide campaign in January. Tune in to get to know the band who will be your new favorite band, and pick up Head in a Haze immediately.
July 24 & 25, 2009 W.H. Lyon Fairgorunds, Sioux Falls, SD.
by Derric Miller
4:00 pm JUKEBOX ZEROES
5:00 pm GOODBYE THRILL
6:00 pm TALON
7:00 pm ESCAPE
8:00 pm FAR CRY
9:00 pm DRAW THE LINE
10:00 pm HEAD EAST
11:15 pm APRIL WINE
10:00 am PAISTY JENNY
11:00 am APPETITE FOR DECEPTION
12:00 pm ESCAPE
1:00 pm TANGO DOWN
2:00 pm ENUFF Z’ NUFF
3:05 pm BOMBAY BLACK
4:10 pm L.A. GUNS
5:25 pm DRAW THE LINE
6:30 pm FIREHOUSE
7:45 pm DOKKEN
9:00 pm SKID ROW
10:15 pm BRET MICHAELS
The second annual Dakota Rock Fest—aka Eastern South Dakota’s Biggest Rock Formation—stepped up its draw this year by bringing one of the hottest musicians/TV stars on the planet to Sioux Falls, S.D. Bret Michaels closed the festival on Saturday night, and his star power brought tens of thousands of spectators—those who love him for his numerous hits as Poison’s frontman, and then, those who want to do more than love him for his cable TV smash hit “Rock of Love.”
Like last year, Dakota Rock Fest 2009 featured area acts (Jukebox Zeroes and Nebraska’s Paisty Jenny), new Hard Rock bands carrying on in the tradition of Poison, Motley Crue, Ratt, etc. (like Tango Down, Bombay Black, Far Cry) and then multi-platinum ‘80s giants like Dokken, Firehouse, Skid Row, and Bret Michaels.
The promoters also signed on tribute bands for Aerosmith, Journey, and Guns and Roses. By far, the GNR tribute band Appetite for Deception lived up to their namesake, with the other two struggling to mirror their heroes.
Dakota Rock Fest went even farther back than the ‘80s, closing out Friday night with Head East and April Wine. It was obvious that Saturday’s/Bret Michaels’ crowd was a bit more spritely than those who stayed to see April Wine on Friday.
The organizers (Leisinger Entertainment) welcome feedback and actually listen to their customers, so this year’s VIP access was even better than last year. For $150, it’s all you can drink and eat, while having access to mingle with the bands in the VIP area. It’s by far one of the better priced festivals in the nation.
For some reason, the bands that truly seemed hungry and happy to be playing this year were the lesser-knowns, like Far Cry, who blew the crowd away with their songwriting, musicianship and live energy. Tango Down did the same, offering up a mix of Firehouse and Ratt-like compositions that pulled the crowd in even if they didn’t know the songs. As always, Bombay Black owned the masses with their blend of infectious, snarky, heavy and fun Hard Rock. Paisty Jenny one-upped them all, bringing on three gorgeous bikini-clad women (see pictures below) to dance around and wake up the crowd as they sang “Jack/Coke a little bit of Bud Light!” on the track “Take It Like a Shot,” while their somber “Better Man” showed another facet to this talented foursome.
Unfortunately, maybe because of a tech glitch at the start of their set, the band who seemed the most uninterested was Dokken. They opened with “Breaking the Chains,” and lead singer Don Dokken stopped the set and said, “Trust me, this song sounds a lot better when you can hear the guitar.” While he tried to slough it off, professionals have short fuses, and by the time the guitar was back in the mix, Dokken was forced to nix a song or two from their set. After that, Dokken seemed comfortable singing an entire octave below the original melody line on some of the songs, making them sound droning. Without Jeff Pilson in the band to match the harmonies and backing vocals the great Dokken hits mesmerized with, and with Don himself comfortable sleepwalking through the harder vocals spots, Dokken as a band struggled mightily, and the crowd echoed the lack of energy accordingly.
The biggest surprise was L.A. Guns, who now have Jizzy Pearl on lead vocals. Just thinking about it, Pearl makes sense. Forget his hired-gun status in Ratt; Pearl sang the best drinking song of all time, “Black Out in the Red Room” with his band Love/Hate, and he’s the perfect mix of sleaze, grit and melody to replace Phil Lewis. They played a new original song, and it may have been the highlight of the set, although “Ballad of Jane,” “Sex Action,” “Show No Mercy,” etc. were all highlights. Traci Guns is a talent, and with Pearl able to once again record new music, look out for the newly invigorated L.A. Guns.
Bands like Skid Row and Firehouse are incapable of playing a bad live set, no matter the circumstances, and the crowd ate up their stage time. Enuff Z’Nuff, while excessively talented and armed with some of the most melodic Hard Rock you’ll ever hear, followed the combustible Bombay Black, so their set lacked a bit of energy in comparison.
By Saturday eve, the crowd seemingly doubled in size from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., and a large number of those attendees were female. If you needed proof that Michaels’ name alone can fill up a festival, well, should have been there. Regardless of how you feel about Michaels, he is a performer first and foremost. He mixed his set with hits from his new solo album and of course the Poison mainstays. He always lays it out for the crowd, he’s a consummate showman, and his set capped off Dakota Rock Fest to perfection.
Dakota Rock Fest 2009 Photo Gallery
Photos by John Kindred/Derric Miller.
Dakota Rock Fest 2009 Video Gallery
(Congratulations to Leisinger Entertainment for another successful Dakota Rock Fest and thanks for bringing quality Hard Rock outdoor entertainment to Sioux Falls.)
by Derric Miller
You know you are in for a life lesson when you read the words of wisdom on Paisty Jenny’s CD liner: “Sometimes you need to get drunk to feel sober, cry to see clearer and fall down a few times before you learn how to pick yourself up. We would like to add that you have a spill a little mercury to know you can survive the contamination.” Their new CD, aptly titled Spilling Mercury, is at times touching, other times extremely pissed off, but for the most part, it’s bare-bones, no-frills, unpretentious Rock ‘n ‘Effin Roll.
“Noose” opens Spilling Mercury, one of the heavier songs the band has ever recorded, especially during the chorus. The unique bass tone from Gabe Matthews comes from the fact they recorded the bass parts by smashing a drum stick on the bass while someone else fingered the notes. In a recent interview with Hardrock Haven, singer/guitarist Gregg Lee described the recording experience. As a singer, Lee owns the ability to snarl and croon all in one song, and you’ll hear both styles on “Noose.”
The next track, “Cryin’,” is one of the songs that has garnered them some radio airplay. The verses are lower, menacing, and the chorus has Lee showing off his upper range. “Would you believe I could lose all my faith. Is there even a trace!” bellows Lee on the second verse, the lyrics matching the acid-tinged anger and desperation of the music.
You don’t have to be angry to be introspective, though, and you’ll hear that on “All Around,” a slower, more melodic composition. The song is written for anyone who’s ever been in a relationship that died, meaning, Everyman. “When will you realize that, there was no compromise. Everything you need you have found. When will you find your way, and satisfy this aching … all of this she said without a sound. It’s all around …” Main songwriter Lee touched a little on his personal journey to pen this track, and his honesty serves to create one of the most memorable songs on Spilling Mercury.
For sheer animalistic rockin’, “Chain Smokin’ Mutha” fills that prescription. Basically, it’s about shooting for the stars, never giving up, and taking advantage of every waking second. The simplistic rhyme scheme in the chorus is catchy as all get out, and guitarist Johnny Ray rips into one of his most searing solos on the release.
It’s difficult to paint Paisty Jenny into a corner, and that’s exactly how they want it. At times, you’ll hear the edge of band like Disturbed, and then, you get to “Crush Alot,” and you are on the Sunset Strip, circa 1988. For pop magnetism, “Crush Alot” nails the chorus with sweet melodies and an almost Def Leppard-like guitar lead during the chorus. It’s got “hit song” spilled all over it.
If you have ever seen the band live, they know how to party. And drinking songs are a prerequisite for this kind of music. So, they recorded “Take It Like a Shot” just in case you forgot music is supposed to be a good time. Lee vocalizes a quirky passage at light speed, saying “Jack and Coke, a little bit of Bud Light.” He follows that with the line, “All you got to do is swallow when you love it.” And there ya go …
The bonus track on Spilling Mercury is called “Bigger Man.” The band hails from Lincoln, Neb., and they knew people who were killed in the Von Maur mall shooting in Omaha. Lee wrote the song the day after the shootings. This is an acoustic song, and the words in the chorus tell the tale: “I’m gonna be a bigger man, ain’t going down like this. They’re gonna know I lived. Ain’t gonna use a gun, ain’t gonna kill no one … gonna be a bigger man.” The song also talks about the mass slayings at Columbine and Virginia Tech. It’s the kind of topical song that gives you chills, and yet, is there to maybe give hope to someone who’s life is so empty, they think their only option is to go out, guns blazing, and taking as many souls with them as possible.
Spilling Mercury is a CD loaded with should-be hits, strong musicianship, top-shelf vocals, but most importantly, stellar songwriting. The ups, downs and mercury spills of life are something you’ll connect with as you listen to each track. There is a reason why Paisty Jenny was Hardrock Haven’s original Band of the Month, and you’ll hear all of those reasons on Spilling Mercury.
Label: Direct Hit Records
3 Give In
4 All Around
5 Chain Smokin Mutha
6 Start Again
7 Days of Your Life
8 Down to Size
9 Crush Alot
10 Right Into Mine
11 Take It Like a Shot
12 Young Love
13 Always & Forever
15 I’ll Get By
16 Bigger Man
HRH rating: 8.4/10