01. Can't Take Us Down
02. Despite The Spite
03. It's A Trap (Stranglehold)
04. Cold Dead Grip
05. Pick Clean My Bones
06. Shadows At The Cenotaph
Pick Clean My Bones is the band's second EP, and sounds like a natural progression from their debut Horned Hands and Hardened Necks. I get the impression that the band members absolutely fucking love Pantera, especially The Great Southern Trendkill era, as their music sounds like it has been very heavily influenced by it. Piss Viper remind me of how the scene was in the mid to late 90's, with almost every young independent Metal band trying to sound as much like Pantera as possible and loving every minute of it.
Heavier than a bag of spanners, Can't Take Us Down opens the EP with some savage, yet bouncing riffage, that soon builds into mosh-pit inducing brutality. This song really sets the tone for what's coming next, as the first four songs are all in a similar vein, with the title track breaking things up a little with some more melodic vocals. It's not all 'post Pantera Pantera-ness' though, as occasionally they bring to mind Face Down, Pissing Razors and Skinlab with their heavy grooving riffs and blood curdling screams. The exception being the darker, bluesier Shadows at the Cenotaph, which features plenty of clean vocals and sounds a bit like The Obsessed and Down.
They may not be re-inventing the steel (sorry!), but to be fair to them, they're very good at what they do, and there is a huge market for this style of Metal. Just look at the success of Lamb of God or DevilDriver for instance. I started following Piss Viper from day one, as I was a big fan of lead vocalist David Malpass' previous band OneDice. My previous band Razorwire played Uxfest with them back in 1999, and I remember really enjoying their set. I picked up their debut album 'Life' but unfortunately they fell apart soon after its release, so it was good to hear David's vocals again.
Piss Viper does what it says on the tin. If this genre is your thing, Pick Clean My Bones is an essential listen, and as you can download the entire EP for free from their website, there's no excuse to not give them a go.