One Track Mind: Pantera, “Piss” (2012)

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So the unveiling of Pantera’s only unreleased song comes with a lot of excitement for this old metalhead, and just a little bit of disappointment after hearing it.

The video for the track, the first new song from Pantera since 2000, was unveiled Wednesday night on the Revolver Golden Gods Awards, and the song was made available as a single on Thursday through iTunes. It will also appear on the upcoming 20th anniversary edition of Vulgar Display of Power, due out in May.

Recorded during the sessions for Vulgar Display of Power, the name of the track didn’t offer me a lot of hope for it, but that record was so awesome that I figured even a throw-away song from it might be good. And it is. Good enough, in fact, that they used a large portion of it in “Use My Third Arm” on the follow-up album, Far Beyond Driven.

That’s where the disappointment comes in. I was hoping and expecting to hear something that I’d never heard before. After the first bit of the song (which upon further review is also kind of a slowed down and more defined version of the crazy, bashing guitar of “Use My Third Arm”), we get a very familiar riff. Even the first line, “Half-assed for most his life,” made it into the later song. It leaves me a little torn. After a month or so of hype that we were getting “the only unreleased Pantera song,” it turns out to be, in large part, something we’ve heard before.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good song. The lyrics are not Phil’s best, which is probably one of the reasons it didn’t make Vulgar Display and was later revamped, but the chorus groove is badass enough to make you not worry about the lyrics too much. Almost immediately my head was bobbing and after two listens, that groove was stuck in my ear.

I’m happy to have a new song from Pantera. Most fans will probably be ecstatic over it, and I’ll probably be blasting it out of my speakers for weeks to come. But still, I can’t shake that sense that we were hoodwinked a little.

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Fred Phillips

Fred Phillips

Fred Phillips is a veteran entertainment writer with a love of hard rock and heavy metal. He has written music reviews, columns and feature stories for several newspapers, Web sites and a national wire service, while running a stand-alone site called Hall of the Mountain King in various places and incarnations since 1997. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelse reviews.com.
Fred Phillips
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