Water on Mars - Purling Hiss
Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. Apr 10, 2013
    80
    Given the jam-friendly group’s propensity for live euphoria but recorded disappointment, it’s a relief to hear that the Hiss has finally hit its stride in the studio with Water On Mars.
  2. Apr 2, 2013
    80
    All of a sudden, the hooks sink deeper; the simple solos, redolent of Pavement/Malkmus to the axe-max, sound better; and, most of all, the songwriting is muscular.
  3. Mar 29, 2013
    80
    Some may find it too clean, but it's still thunderously good. [May 2013, p.75]
  4. Mar 26, 2013
    80
    Their next release might be a whole ‘nother curveball, but this is a treat on its own terms.
  5. Mar 20, 2013
    80
    Water on Mars is unexpectedly hooky, taking just enough from the catchy '90s alterna-pop it borrows from to root the songs in the listener's mind, but offering enough of Polizze's own voice to keep it from being a mere throwback.
  6. Mar 14, 2013
    80
    This fourth Purling Hiss album takes a lot of what was exhilarating about the self-titled and Hissteria and adds some structure and melody.
  7. Mar 14, 2013
    80
    Water On Mars is a very impressive rock LP that easily takes Polizze and Purling Hiss to another level and bears comparison to the best of the nation’s numerous indie rock luminaries.
  8. Mar 22, 2013
    76
    They’ll get major points for pouring Bleach all over your Nevermind, but don’t miss the trance-and-release rush of the title track.
  9. Mar 21, 2013
    73
    The murk and sloppiness of the early records has been mostly swept away.
  10. Mar 20, 2013
    70
    Water on Mars is a strikingly honest album, with the old school feel of having been played and recorded organically, warts and all.
  11. 70
    The studio polishing shows Polizze’s songwriting strengths, and it doesn’t change the fact that he’s writing from an open, spontaneous place.
  12. Mar 15, 2013
    70
    [Mike Polizze's] an understated master of the rock 'n' roll hook.... With big and booming Superfuzz Bigmuff-style production cleaning up the band's Drag City debut, that distinction becoming clearer. [No. 96, p.58]
  13. Mar 14, 2013
    70
    The cleaner sound of Water on Mars introduces a newfound confidence to the music of Purling Hiss and it's certainly a welcome direction.
  14. Mar 19, 2013
    69
    For all its polish, Water on Mars retains a sense of spontaneity, with a handful of soft, folky tunes.
  15. Mar 14, 2013
    60
    The result is like a more chaotic Nirvana or Dinosaur Jr, with gentle diversions into geeky indie, drone-rock and fuzz-pop that only enhance the racket-making around it. [Apr 2013, p.109]

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