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The Hiss: Live at the Double Door in Chicago

By: Dan O’Conor

This was their first show opening for Electric Six, not to mention their Chicago debut, but the rambunctious nature of the Atlanta based four-piece the Hiss won over the crowd at the Double Door last month. A skuzzy-sounding opening track–complete with lead singer/guitarist Adrian Barrera singing into the pick up of his guitar–had the crowd initially more bewildered than entertained, but the next couple of songs (“Back on the Radio” and “Clever Kicks”) stepped up the pace with their basic garage-rockelements of catchy vocals, bluesy guitars and lots of sweat.

The rhythms of drummer Todd Galpin and bassist/ex-model Johnny Kral locked into the seedy “Lord’s Prayer” and the fantastic groove of “Triumph,” which snaked through a haze of distortion caused by Barrera sliding the neck of his guitar along the microphone stand. Lead guitarist Ian Franco’s lead framed the nice shredding vocals of “Riverbed.” Even new songs like “Firehawk,” driven by Galpin’s hi-hat happiness, had the masses moving. The menacing slant of the hidden track “Shady People” from the Hiss’s debut Panic Movement engaged the darkly appealing rock ‘n’ roll feeling that has led such groups as the White Stripes and Oasis to request the Hiss to open for them at their shows, and the long sturdy closer “Ghost of Gold” hit hard with the strained vocals of Barrera screaming”Hold On!!” which left a pleasant ringing in the ears of all lucky enough to see this young yet rapidly maturing band.