Sunday, 10th November
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You can’t start a band called Cocaine Piss and be serious at the same time, can you? It would be the equivalent of naming your kid something like Kick Me In The Head Throughout Life Whenever Possible Smith. It’s not exactly the best commercial boost to a new thing. But ever since coming into twisted existence in 2014 in the Belgian city of Liège, pretty much as a bad taste joke, Cocaine Piss never really had time to consider such fine details, like having a band name that you can safely say in public, or just having any kind of plan for anything. They just revved the engine of the piss rocket and watched it launch, and before they knew it, it was flying sky-high.
Pretty soon the band became an important name in the Walloon alternative rock scene. Not because they held serious meetings with important people, or because they meticulously traced a conquest schedule on their spreadsheets. No, the band’s method has always been showing up and whipping up a chaotic mess with their high octane blend of punk and noise that’s all over within 20/25 minutes. It’s like Dead Kennedys, Bikini Kill and Melt Banana all playing at once while really high on their namesake substance, right up until the venue cuts the power and everything’s suddenly over, leaving you euphoric, disoriented and punching walls just for fun. The atomic energy of their hit and run shows inevitably started to get some attention from bookers and press within the splash zone of Flanders and the Netherlands and so, like a crass joke that you can’t stop from spreading, Cocaine Piss started to spread their fluffy wings across Europe too.
Those that were there when they were unleashing their first whirlwinds of snot and pee might have thought it was unlikely to get even more savage, but over 400 gigs all over Europe will have an effect on a band no matter how good they are to start with. Leaving stinkbombs from Norway to Portugal, from Lithuania to the UK, from enormous outdoor summer festivals to squats and tiny basements and everything in between, the Cocaine Piss live precision bomb is now fully refined and of greater impact than ever before. Not only that, but their own sound has also grown in the process. The initial boundless energy is still there and then some, but like toilet paper rolling across the floor, all kinds of other nasty things have started to stick to them. Strands of fast hardcore and 80s noise rock (think Mudhoney, Big Black) have rubbed their nasty little heads on the newer songs and made them all the more furious. Also, there is one fan in particular whose attention they’ve attracted that has turned out to be very important – a certain Steve Albini, with whom they have now recorded two full-length (which, for Cocaine Piss, means around twenty minutes) albums, The Dancer and Passionate And Tragic. We’re sure that wearing their t-shirt while winning a World Series of Poker event worked as a lucky charm for him.
Cocaine Piss are also a great example of the many things you can accomplish while not being an asshole. Their music might be nasty, provocative, dirty and mean, but their message is always a positive one that should leave a mark as deep as their riffs will cut. Gender equality is the main thread in their work, and they always make it a point to collaborate with young and promising people. The art director chosen to take care of all the visual aspects of this latest release (album cover, photography, videos) is Laetitia Bica, who earned her stripes in the fashion business. As you could already see by the My Cake video, she has fully embraced the colourful rainbow, diving deep into the Cocaine Piss universe. Together with Thierry Tönnes she took care of all visuals that will accompany the sonic chaos.
All of this in just five years, and yet, it feels like they’re just beginning. With an unwieldy bunch of dates already announced, where will Cocaine Piss point their unstoppable yellow stream next? We don’t know, but we’ll love being there when it happens. Stay tuned, stay wet, stay alive!