1 Oct 2018

Terrascope reviews Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs – King of Cowards

They say:

(LP/CD/DL from Rocket Recordings ) 

Pigsx7 and I have a knack of missing each other (something they will hitherto be unaware of). I can definitely count on the fingers of Django Reinhardt’s left hand the times where we’ve been in the same place and I’ve been unable to catch their set, usually because of scheduling. In fact to make doubly sure of maintaining a 100% record in this regard, neither of us turned up for Rocket 20 in London back in March. As if by way of atonement, though, I do recall purchasing an album from singer Matt Baty’s Box Records stall at Supersonic in June. It was a hard-to-find Blown Out album as I recall, they being Matt and company’s superior “space rock” alter egos and a right blast they are (and yes I have seen them live and will do again, soon).

The Pigs sound has not evolved too much since 2017’s incendiary and hugely regarded debut, Feed The Rats. For all that we have six tracks here instead of the three on Rats the basic cocktail is still comprised of heavy metal boogie interspersed with throttled back bludgeon riffola, over which loud, bare-chested shouty vocals strive manfully. Much fun indeed, and no-one but the irredeemably hard of hearing is likely to complain about either a subdued or a muddy mix. Oh my ears!

To the sharp end, then, and ‘GNT’ flies out of the traps sounding for all the world like Lemmy fronting a metal tribute to ‘Spirit In The Sky’. Listen carefully and you’ll pick up some twiddly bits of synth and a vocal ensemble featuring estimable Richard Dawson, fellow Tynesider and beloved alt-folk type, in whose live band Baty and bass player John-Michael Hedley play, implausible though that may seem.  ‘The Shockmaster’ is a gentle, waif fronted ballad built around harp and hand crafted penny whistle. No don’t be silly, this lot prostrate themselves at the feet of Tony Iommi and co – we are all Sabbath now after all. ‘A66’ as you might expect is a pummelling driving song (serving Penrith to Scotch Corner it will be familiar to these natives of NE England). It perambulates through a number of stages, at its best evoking the skronking, Hawkwind turbo thrust of yester-yore and closer in spirit to the afore-mentioned Blown Out. And so it goes. By the time ‘Thumbsucker’ gets stuck in I’m pretty much warming to the task although there’s probably little to choose between that and the other tins on the shelf. The exception that proves the rule is ‘Gloamer’, which slows things down a tad and on which Baty’s alternately spoken and shouted vocal adding to the darkening menace. They might just have saved their best ‘til last.

Comparisons with Grateful Dead are hardly likely to abound although much like the noodling ones you can’t help thinking that Pigs’ studio work is probably best appreciated having seen them live. This is where I came in, I think.
Ian Fraser

See the review here: Terrascope