Anyone who saw American miserablists Pist.On during their ‘heyday’ in the late nineties will attest to how good the band were, especially in the live arena. The two albums they recorded then, Number One and $ell Out, stood out for their reliance on solid songwriting and melody in a rock world obsessed with nu metal’s posturing and the ‘stronger-than-all’ nonsense being belted out by metal kingpins Pantera. It’s no wonder they found a niche for themselves among the disaffected youth that weren’t part of the lowest common denominator, who in the band’s monstrous Grey Flap had found their anthem and design for living.

Fusing the mordant humour of fellow New Yorkers Type o Negative to the more fragile musings of the other great NYC export of that time, Life of Agony, the band should have made the big time with room to spare, but for reasons too many and varied to go into here they floundered, as so many of the best do, so it’s great to have them back here and now with a new EP, Cold World, that recreates the band’s much-loved style effortlessly; long term fans will see their fervour reignited immediately by the title track, which sees the band (who retain their ‘classic’ $ell Out core in vocalist/guitarist Henry Font, drummer Jeff McManus and axe slinger Burton Gans) in full, gutter-to-the-stars doomed romantic mode. It’s an unapologetic strike straight at the heart of what made the band worth taking note of in the first place, and none the worse for that. If you were a fan then, you’ll be a fan now.

In fact, with these three tracks at least, the one criticism a cynic might level is that the band have made no effort to move on from 1999; But when Font’s trademark vocals – a mix of wounded bear howling remorse and spitting, accusatory hate – kick in on closer Icicles then it’s hard to see why they would. The band had a formula that worked and it works again on all three tracks offered up on Cold World. Time enough for experimentation when the full length comes around…

So, as a re-introduction to a band you may well have forgotten about, Cold World works just fine – but it’s also good enough to draw new fans into the fold too who may be unfamiliar with this band and their intriguing take on heavy rock. Well worth a listen.

Cold World releases on March 25th.