PistFormed in 2013 with one aim – to bring the worship of the riff to the masses, the Manchester based four piece PIST have been working overtime. Touring extensively in support of the fantastic “Riffology” EP and being rewarded for their tremendous live performances with slots at Hammerfest and Bloodstock 2015, the boys are back, this time with their full length debut album “Rhythm and Booze”. An ode to drinking and metal groove, the monstrous sound and confident swagger returns and let’s be honest, this is the type of “R and B” we’re all interested in right? Grab a cold one and let’s get it on.

Starting the album off with the sound of a can being cracked, “Shitstorm”, a track teased to us during their Bloodstock set gets the album started with its meaty riffs and full on groove. The vocal delivery which teases between cleaner singing and raw sounding shouts helps bring the fantastic musical section to life and the way the bass and drums lay down the solid groove laden foundations for the massive sounding guitar to bring the riffs is great. It’s a fantastic album opener and from there, it just keeps going.

“Dirt On Me” has a real filthy sound to it which is brilliant for the groove laden sludge approach and the pounding feel from the steady paced riffs and rhythm section is great. Vocally it’s something of a mixed bag, sounding like a cross between Phil Anselmo and Dixie Collins, going from that powerful raw swagger to the filthy harsh growls with little fuss and that feel extends to the music too, sounding like Trendkill era Pantera and Weedeater having a musical love-in. “Detached” brings the classic stoner rock styled riffs. It’s lively sound and pace sound like Fu Manchu in parts but it has the heaviness of Welsh stoner doom masters Sigiriya. Solid vocal delivery, fantastic riffs and melodic lead hooks and some great melodic bass work really stand out on this track and the slight sections of Black Sabbath Worship in the riff heavy sections are a joy to listen to and this continues into “Deadbeat” which keeps the Sabbath sounding approach but adds some Sleep into the mix too, resulting in a heavier sound.

“The Worst Time Of Year” is a small filler track with some impressive clean work and string samples backing it up and whilst it has a nice melody, it could have just been tagged into the following track as an intro as the transition from clean and calm sound to the full on power in “68” is fantastic. “68” opens up with some meaty riffs at a decent pace and the groove is just full on. Clean vocals in the verse change the game slightly and it works a treat, allowing for the powerful raw vocals in the chorus to really make an impact. With thunderous bass, especially in the middle section which leads up to a hypnotic riff section before going back to the full on approach, this track has it all and it’s easily the stand out track of the album. “Trails” is close behind though, it flows on great from the riff monster before it but it has a lot more rawness to its sound and delivery. A real sleazy sounding track with some melodic hooks in the chorus to give it that extra kick, it flows great. Round the mid-section it slows down a little before going into a heavy Blues for the Red Sun era Kyuss sounding section with hypnotic grooves and a slick bluesy sounding solo before exploding back to life for the end.

“Plagues Of Hope” slows it down again, laying on the massive sounding grooves and after a minute or so, it kicks back into life again, more frantic and harsher than some of the previous fast sections on the album. It’s just pure raw groove in its most primal form and the drum break section which goes into a fantastic riff section towards the end of the track will have heads banging without any effort required, it’s just that good. “Cuntlip” has that Orange Goblin feel to it with the big sounding twisty melodic riff and pace which screams filthy fucking rock n roll and much like Goblin, this track has a fantastic tone and a solid rhythm delivery. With some big riffs sounding like Volume 4 era Sabbath, it evokes a feeling of familiarity and keeps you hooked as the fuzzed out bass takes control and brings out a monstrous outro run.

“Chunder” is the final track and much like the rest f the album, it’s got meaty sound and groove oozing out of it. Starting slow before picking up, it keeps the party going as it goes from fast and venomous to heavy groove laden chugs and like the rest of the album, its groove is infectious and sound massive. As the track finishes, we’re treated to some wonderful classical music providing the backdrop to someone throwing up (Knowing this band, I’d place my money on it being one of them!) but in a way, this serves as a great closer for the album. The can crack of Shitstorm leads to an intoxicating 40 minutes of filthy groove and Chunder brings about the close and predictable end of someone who has maybe had a little too much.

In all “Rhythm & Booze” is fantastic. It’s got everything – groove, riffs, great sound, heaviness and rawness and bags of attitude. It’s the sign of a band confident in their abilities and with a clear vision of how they want to sound. I’ll happily raise a glass to the guys from PIST, this album is fantastic and will no doubt provide the soundtrack to many drinking sessions before gigs and at festivals. Crack a can and enjoy the filth!

(8.5/10 Fraggle)