PIST.ON – Cold World

Cold World EP Cover Art

PIST.ON – Cold World
Release Date: 25/03/22
Running Time: 10:24
Review by Simon Black

It’s been a really, really long time since I’ve listened to anything by PIST.ON. I remember getting a promo copy of their debut “Number 1” album way back when and being quite impressed at the time at a band that somehow fitted in with the new asshole that Grunge was ripping in the music scene, whilst simultaneously appealing to the Alternative and Metal fans in equal proportions. “Could this be the aisle crosser that would help reunite our broken and fragmented scene?” I though back in 1996. Here was a band with a broad appeal, with that rarest of rarities back then in a female bassist (Val Ium) and a sound that was rather unique – fusing the riff-slam heaviness, incredibly almost Gothic moodiness with some clever vocal harmonies and catchy song writing. 

That was 1996. One of the reasons I have not listened to them in the intervening years is that there’s not been a lot to listen to. With only the ill-fated follow up “Sell.Out!” album in 1999 and the impossible to get hold of “Saves” EP there’s been nothing from them as a functioning band for a while. The details around this are vague and depend on who in the band you ask, but a centre pin was Henry Ford’s struggles with his demons. The departure of Ium pulled the rug out from under them and without decent label and industry support to prop things up an awful lot of water has flowed under an awful lot of bridges ever since.

I blame the original labels in the 90’s – and there were a fair few of them, as the band bounced from pillar to post globally without a decent strategy and drive behind it. At this point labels themselves were struggling with the triple whammy of a complete change in musical tastes in their audiences courtesy of Grunge and everything that came after it, the emergence of the independent and self-produced labels stealing market share and a general dropping off in sales of physical product as technology changed everything. PIST.ON fell right in the perfect storm of cracks of those three events and their inability to be cleanly pigeonholed meant that labels didn’t know what to do with them and when issues within the band arose, they fell off the map.

I for one am quite glad that they are back, as you can probably tell by the fact that I’ve spent this long talking about the history of a band pre this three track and quite short EP. The disk picks up where the band left off and is a cautious dipping of the toe in the water post-pandemic. 

The three tracks on here feel straight back on point. Starting with the hugely heavy and moody ‘Cold World’, Henry Ford’s vocals strike the same balance between gravelly and heavy, alternating with clean and harmonic interplay that we first heard so long ago. He’s lost none of his ability to jerk emotional strings on the listener vocally, with some moody and slightly more shredding guitar work than we got in latter days adding a new dimension to their sound. It’s also heavier than a two ton heavy thing, pulling off exactly the same clever unexpected chord progression that keeps on giving that Ghost pull off to surprise you just when you think you know how the choruses work and all in all is a cracking track to come back with. Onto the regular streaming playlist with you, my friend.

‘Ruin Your Day’ is a dark and moody little piece, slower but no less technically accomplished for it, and tells more of a darker story than its predecessor, perhaps touching Ford’s dark places that contributed to the hiatus of the band, but with a wonderfully controlled discordant refrain that is genuinely powerful. ’Icicles’ is slower and moodier still, with an almost Stoner vibe – heavy, moody powerful and deeply haunting with a fantastic chorus line. 

These three all too short tracks feel like a taster of something far more interesting to come for PIST.ON. I hope so, it’s long overdue.

01. Cold World
02. Ruin Your Day
03. Icicles

Henry Font – Vocals / Guitar
Burton Gans – Guitar 
Jeff McManus – Drums
Jack Hanley – Bass


Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Simon Black and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

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