Words: Doug Wallen

Kindred spirits unite on the first split 7” from Melbourne label Psychic Hysteria, which has released tapes, LPs and singles by such underground Aussie bands as Astral Skulls, Plaster of Paris and Wars.

The new release pairs punk trio Piss Factory with synth-driven post-punk duo Heat Wave. Despite their divergent sounds, the bands have become close friends since Piss Factory headlined Heat Wave’s first-ever venue gig in late 2016, bonding over a mutual love of zines and home recording. In fact, each of their contributions to the split 7” was humbly recorded in a Melbourne lounge room.

Piss Factory’s side is a brash and blurted 85 seconds, complete with a grotty DIY thrust. The label describes it as “a fast-paced and chaotic choose-your-own-adventure narrative about renting and living in the inner city.” And lo and behold, the band drops the phrase “choose your own adventure” mid-song. The tune surfaced in an earlier incarnation on Piss Factory’s zine/EP combo of the same name, and last October PF released a since-sold-out five-song tape on Psychic Hysteria.

As for Heat Wave, it also put out a tape on the label last year – the 13-track Dead Beats – and its new entry ‘Psychic Powers’ provides a slower and more low-slung contrast to Piss Factory. Heralded by a hypnotic bass line and drum machine beat, the duo’s snide call-and-response vocals are in full effect, culminating in a dead-simple chorus that makes for an almost accidental earworm. Dubbing it a “bratwave party jam,” the label says it “explores the duo’s love of classic sci-fi and horror films.”

Catch both bands when they launch their short but spark-spitting split single later this month at The Old Bar, flanked by more of their fringe-dwelling Psychic Hysteria kin.

‘377’/‘Psychic Powers’ comes out March 15 via Psychic Hysteria ( Piss Factory and Heat Wave launch the split 7” on Saturday, March 24 at The Old Bar in Melbourne with Face Face, InfraGhosts, Magpie and Plaster of Paris DJs.