Insane Clown Posse might have Dark Carnival as a registered trademark, but the experience of listening to (and seeing) Cincinnati’s Pisswater Preachers is like being on a ferris wheel that suddenly turns into a Tilt-A-Whirl, encompassed by dozens of funhouse mirrors. The self-described “polygender post-world punk rock” band bring blistering energy and searing vitality both on-stage and on their debut album, Homebaked Methblack Magic (recorded by William Gilmore Weber, formerly of legendary punk bands Chrome Cranks and G.G. Allin’s Murder Junkies). It’s ridiculously fun and energizing, every time I’ve seen a Pisswater show, and I never know exactly where they’re taking me. It doesn’t hurt that one member’s instruments of choice are “Silence, Laughter” and has contributed to the live experience in ways such as wearing a VR headset while holding a weed-wacker or merely eating a banana while onstage.

On ‘Froggy Went’a Courtin’ they take the title of one of the most enduring folk songs and give it the Pisswater treatment. This version is not a cover, making nary a mention of a sword or pistol. With the narrative starting and ending with the title, the crux of the song is its ability to fit in everything at once: elastic bass, nimble guitar, well-timed trumpet, and more. Best of all is the shared vocal performance of David Hagedorn and Megan Miller, both giving it all and making you hope they each have a spare pair of vocal chords for the rest of the album. If nothing else, this is a song of hope: hope that the future of rock won’t be one of abject stiffness.

Listen to ‘Froggy Went’a Courtin’ below, and the rest of Homebaked Methblack Magic through Bandcamp.

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