Pantera, ‘Piss’ – Song Review
Since lost tracks always seem to surface just before a band is ready for a reissue or a “special edition remaster,” they’re often rightly looked upon with suspicion. But Pantera proves sometimes the reason a song doesn’t make an album is that it simply didn’t play nicely with the other tracks.
Here’s an analogy: no one can stand playing with Terrell Owens, but that doesn’t mean he’s not a great NFL receiver. So think of ‘Piss’ as the Terrell Owens of Pantera’s 1992 album, ‘Vulgar Display of Power.’
Drummer Vinnie Paul stumbled upon it while preparing the 20th anniversary reissue, and has since shared it with fans on iTunes and in the new fan-assisted video below. No one here at UCR wants to sound like an old curmudgeon, but this, kids, is how you rock.
Paul’s skills on the skins are featured early and often inside the 75-second introduction, while Dimebag Darrell (then known as Diamond Darrell) puts down a riff that is at first technical and complicated before he lays into a fat groove that carries the song and Phil Anselmo’s vocals.
“I’d leave him physically crippled / Without a leg to stand / I’d throw that trash away / Because a runt like that is piss in the wind,” Anselmo sings during the chorus. The vocals are aggressive, angry and direct. Some would call them obtuse, but those people haven’t gotten this far into the song. It’s hardly poetry, but he gets his point across.
“My fist would be the decider / I wasn’t raised a fool / I’d stomp his ass for free / Because a punk like that is piss in the wind.”
The song’s most original lyric — for better or worse — comes at the end of the first verse. “The kinda guy that would steal your cast / And buy a burning house / Then call you up and invite you in / And jerk you off with a sandpaper hand,” Anselmo sings. (Clearly, someone really upset the hot-tempered frontman.)
‘Piss’ can compete with just about anything on rock radio today. The song isn’t for the Jim Croce or Paul Simon fan in your life, but it’s doubtful that’s keeping Anselmo up at night.