Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs - King Of Cowards (Album Review)


Release date: September 28th 2018. Label: Rocket Recordings. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

King Of Cowards – Tracklisting

1.GNT
2.Shockmaster
3.A66
4.Thumbsucker
5.Cake Of Light 03:45
6.Gloamer

Members

Matt Baty (Vocals)
Sam Grant (Guitar)
Adam Ian Sykes (Guitar)
Christopher Morley (Drums)
John-Michael Hedley (Bass)

Review

Noise rock is a rather large and ubiquitous genre of music and a sort of de facto category for a band whose sound doesn’t easily fall into one of the more common categories of rock and metal. So here we have (from Outlaws head honcho Steve’s hometown of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne) Pigs x7, who bring a truly unique brand of noise rock that carries elements of doom, metal, hardcore, jazz, and everything in between in every song. 

King of Cowards is the band’s second album following hot on the heels of last years stellar Feed the Rats. King of Cowards carries some of the same elements as Rats but doubles the songs (3 to 6) and somehow manages to be even more bombastic than its predecessor.
The vocals are angry and distorted, the tracks are loaded with feedback, dissonance and a shitload of riffs. 

All those are trademarks of any noise rock record worth its salt. However, what sets Pigs x7 apart is the surprising nuances of the record. Each new listen revealed another aspect of the songs that wasn’t as apparent the time before. That is what makes a record stunning and sets it apart from all the others.

The album opens with the bombastic GNT that brings in elements of space influenced guitar, a Queen like chorus and crunch heavy bass. The band brings in the Doom on the lumbering Shockmaster. The song is a bit slower and heavily distorted. It is worth note that Pigs x7 are not ones for brevity. Feed the Rats was a 40+ minute record that was 3 songs long. As noted, this record doubles the song, but not the time. With the first two tracks clocking in at over 6 minutes a piece. Another element of note is the band’s propensity for tempo change. 

All their songs are technically dynamic. Pigs x7 can fit as many tempo changes in one song as most bands fit into one album. With that said, comes the centrepiece of the record, at around 9 minutes, is the driving noise rock masterpiece A66. This song has a feel that is reminiscent of 90’s Touch & Go records, more particularly, Chicago’s beloved Jesus Lizard. A driving beat, heavy and angular guitars and the screamed chorus of “This beast is not very kind” hammer the song into a huge psych heavy finish. The foot does not come of the gas with Thumbsucker. The songs big, repetitive riff pummels the listener for 8+ minutes before a shift change into a big rock outro. At under 4 minutes, Cake of Light, is the most concise, straight ahead rock song on the record. Made memorable with some big drum crashes and a little bit of synth on the way out.

Gloamer closes the record in unique fashion. The track has guest vocals (my apologies for not knowing who this is) delivering some indie rock mantras over the bands crashing drums and angular, feedback laden guitars. An monumental closer to say the least.

I have very quickly become a huge fan of Pigs x7. As a kid that grew up on Touch & Go Records, Am-Rep style noise noise rock and the joyous anarchy of The Melvins. Pigs x7 have set themselves apart from the rest and taken position at the top of the noise rock world. Familiarise yourself with the band and grab a copy of King of Cowards, it is a unique and satisfying listening experience and unquestionable one of the best records of the year.

Todd S - Instagram @alltheghoststhathauntyou

Words by Todd Stealey


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