Hayley Mary
The Piss, The Perfume


3.5
great

Review

by SowingSeason STAFF
January 18th, 2020 | 20 replies


Release Date: 01/17/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Jezabels' frontwoman goes solo with a down-to-earth EP that is simpler than her past catalog, but also a lot more fun.

It’s been almost four years on-the-dot since The Jezabels released Synthia, an epic electronic/synth outing that saw them complete their departure from rock music. In the world of entertainment/media that’s a lengthy absence, so one could almost be forgiven for overlooking The Piss, The Perfume – the debut EP from the group’s charismatic frontwoman Hayley Mary. The Piss, The Perfume is a no frills pop-rock record that, despite Hayley’s newfound autonomy, sounds in many ways like a return to form for the band – only with some important distinctions. This is hardly the experimental, dreamy powerhouse that Prisoner was; instead, Mary sounds the part of Cyndi Lauper – down-to-Earth, rocking her socks off, and most importantly having fun. It’s a simultaneous throwback and step forward, a short collection of upbeat pop-rock tracks that, unlike most Jezabels offerings, are free from any thematic or conceptual ties. Hayley sings about common concerns and about being in love; it’s a carefree skip down the street compared to The Jezabels’ more elaborate, choreographed struts. There’s obvious drawbacks to be inferred from that statement, but the end result is an EP that doesn’t take itself too seriously and markets itself incredibly well.

‘The Piss, The Perfume’ makes Hayley’s mission statement well-known immediately – the song begins with wailing guitars before you’re even two seconds in, and then cuts to melodic verses and an unforgettable chorus. Despite the sugary warmth that coats the title track – and really the entire EP – it somehow still feels very rooted in the basics of rock: acoustic guitars are strummed throughout, the drums never cease and pick up their intensity at all the right moments, and Hayley’s vocals soar with each chorus while drawing a grittier, more passionate tone when she’s delving into the song’s intricacies. Prior to the release of the EP, she stated “I wanted it to be Motown, I want it to be punk, I want it to be Australiana, I want it to be country, I want it to be Celtic…” – somehow, The Piss, The Perfume checks all those boxes and the title track most accurately illustrates that. Elsewhere, ‘Like a Woman Should’ shows off Hayley’s vocal range better than any song save perhaps for Synthia’s ‘Stand and Deliver’, as she deftly shifts between high and low inflections while maintaining her powerful delivery throughout. ‘Ordinary Me’ and ‘Holly’ are slower in tempo but further highlight the stunning clarity and control she has over her voice – the former is particularly gorgeous, employing the most breathtaking melody she’s written since ‘No Country’, while the latter possesses forlorn wails and an almost rustic vibe. The experience wraps up with ‘Brat’, which really drives home the aforementioned punk aspirations while also sending The Piss, The Perfume out on what could only be described as a raucous note.

Hayley Mary’s solo debut does just about everything that it’s supposed to do: it retains the influences that made her into a star, but it also branches out and tries different things using those qualities. If you’re going to directly compare it to The Jezabels, then it is closer to Prisoner than it is to either of their synth-bound offerings (The Brink, Synthia) – but the reality is that it’s quite unlike anything she’s ever composed before. It’s not as daring, insightful, or complex as her band’s work, granted, but this is simply an old fashioned, stripped down pop-rock album that delivers one enjoyable tune after another. Dedicated fans of The Jezabels will still be holding out hope for a fourth LP, but The Piss, The Perfume is a strong enough solo debut that Hayley Mary could, should she so choose to, step into the limelight and never look back.



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user ratings (20)
3.4
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
SowingSeason
Moderator
January 18th 2020


35799 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Check the title track: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhkkwTe6gb4

Check 'Like a Woman Should': https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AVTrufNI8I

Check 'Ordinary Me': https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWKpScWnmQM

Digging: Deftones - Ohms

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
January 18th 2020


31799 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

agred its solid as heck

Willie
Moderator
January 18th 2020


18816 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

--This is hardly the experimental, dreamy powerhouse that Prisoner was...--



This line kind of concerns me, but I'm still looking forward to hearing it.

SowingSeason
Moderator
January 18th 2020


35799 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The more I listen to this the more I'm trying to back away from my initial promise to you that it's a return to roots. It's very mainstream pop rock, albeit highly enjoyable.

Willie
Moderator
January 18th 2020


18816 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Ha ha. That sucks.

SowingSeason
Moderator
January 18th 2020


35799 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You will probably still like it just don't expect Prisoner 2.0. I'm very curious what you'll think now after all this discussion lol.

hamid95
January 19th 2020


902 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm starved of a new Jezabels album, so very curious about how this one spins.

JesusCage
January 20th 2020


398 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

pretty sweet, and catchy as hell

Minushuman24
January 21st 2020


4178 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is solid

Pangea
January 21st 2020


4699 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i really liked the latest jezabels album so i will give this a try

Digging: The Flaming Lips - The Terror

Feather
January 21st 2020


6071 Comments


right when I saw the work 'Jezabels' in the main page summary, I knew this was going to be a sowing review.

SowingSeason
Moderator
January 24th 2020


35799 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

If you love The Jezabels you will at least like this

WatchItExplode
January 24th 2020


8285 Comments


I was digging the elaborate vocals on like a woman should but this really plain jane otherwise.

SowingSeason
Moderator
January 24th 2020


35799 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah, my first listen I was like "hell yeah this rocks", then subsequent listens revealed it to be at least 50% pop, too. I really enjoy it regardless, even if it's just basic bangers.

hamid95
January 24th 2020


902 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, this is really basic, but fun stuff

JesusCage
January 24th 2020


398 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Basic bangers will be bangers nonetheless. First two are really fun.

dedex
January 24th 2020


4691 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Bookends are my faves here

Digging: Fleet Foxes - Shore

Willie
Moderator
February 1st 2020


18816 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

So, I finally heard this. It's not bad, but it's so conventional compared to what she was doing with The Jezabels.

SowingSeason
Moderator
February 1st 2020


35799 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Glad to see you decided to check it out after all. I agree with you, my initial excitement was a bit off but it's still a pleasant batch of pop-rockers.

Willie
Moderator
February 1st 2020


18816 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah. I definitely liked it, but I have to wonder if I would have enjoyed it as much without the familiar name attached.



I always planned to check it out, but I wanted to get my decade list out of the way, so I was plowing my way through that playlist hitting every album I own from the last decade and pretty much ignoring 2020 releases.



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