This Hisses – Super Sibilant

By Scott Wolfe

One of Winnipeg’s most thrilling live acts is releasing their first full-length in July on local family label Transistor 66. I sat down at the Legion in the Exchange District with band members Julia Ryckman, J.P. Perron, and, later on, Patrick Short for some cheap beverages and to exchange a few words with this local trio regarding their highly-anticipated debut.

Stylus: To begin, out of curiosity I have got to know, why This Hisses and not The Hisses?
J.P. Perron:
It’s kind of a weird iteration I guess, but not really. There is actually a funny quote addressing that on the new album. [Reads] When attempting to enunciate the group’s moniker, most tend to slur over the words carelessly, gurgling some incoherent mumble. However, such a cavalier introduction to This Hisses is calamitous at best.
Stylus: Brilliant and accurate, as I clearly demonstrated when this interview began.
Yeah I do that as well just the other day I called us The Hisses. People tend to like it though, however I can imagine that radio announcer would not.
Julia Ryckman:
Also, ‘this’ is a word that hisses, which adds to our name.
Stylus: Each of you have been submerged in the Winnipeg music scene before with other acts such as The Gorgon [Julia], Mahogany Frog [J.P.] and Under Pressure and Electric Candles [Patrick Short]. But how did This Hisses come to be?
When The Gorgon broke up, I had some songs I wanted to try and I thought of Pat because we had talked and jammed before. I also wanted to work with J.P. because he had always been my favourite drummer in Winnipeg and I knew he was available because he had just moved back from Montreal. I asked him at a party if he wanted to jam, but he was very guarded. Continue reading “This Hisses – Super Sibilant”

LOST: Under Pressure – Come Clean

Under Pressure were a significant Winnipeg hardcore group, and this album was their master offering. By the time Come Clean was released, the group’s members had been making music for years together, and this album perfectly represents a height for them as a group. Hardcore is an extremely formulaic genre that can be easily replicated. People take cues from bands such as Poison Idea and Black Flag, as Under Pressure initially did, and replicate them in their own way. This makes way for a lot of very mediocre representations. Over time, the music that these players loved was internalized and practiced in perfection, usually causing other bands to pale in comparison. Their devotion to form eventually turned into mastery and this album represents that moment in time. Come Clean is not just a hollow repetition of forms from the past. Rather, it is those forms mastered through dedication over time and presented for others to take cue from. A step away from their earlier, faster and more youthful hardcore sound, Come Clean lies in a darker, more serious territory on its own. Taking more of a rock direction, the listener is grabbed and assaulted aurally from the first riff of the album. Lyrically, the harshness of existence is presented in a notable step above average, further separating this album from the masses of thoughtless clones. Come Clean will leave an impact on those who hear it for years to come. As time progressed and line-up changes occurred, the quality of the band never diminished—Under Pressure’s conclusion in 2009 denied the band the time needed to surpass Come Clean, leaving it as their masterpiece to which heads will nod to in the future. (2006, Primitive Air-Raid, Kevin Strang