Saturday 19 September 2015

PIGS - Wronger (Album Review)

Release date: October 2nd 2015. Label: Solar Flare Records. Formats: CD/DD/Vinyl

Wronger - Tracklisting

1. A Great Blight
2. The Life In Pink
3. Bet It All On Black
4. Amateur Hour In Dick City
5. Mope
6. Wrap It Up
7. Mouth Dump
8. Make Sure To Forget
9. Bug Boy
10. Wronger
11. Donnybrook

Band Members:

Jim Paradise: Drums
Andrew Schneider: Bass, Vocals
Dave Curran: Guitar, Vocals


Let's start this by assuming you're all familiar with the brilliance of 90's AmRep staples Unsane, because if you're not then there's just no helping you anyway. Leaning heavily on that sound in tone, structure, and production value is PIGS, which comes as no surprise considering singer/guitarist Dave Curran is the bassist for Unsane. The band, rounded out by Andrew Schneider on bass/vocals and Jim Paradise on drums, are not just carrying on that legacy, but expanding on it with their 2nd release, WRONGER.

Opening with the noisy build-up of “A Great Blight” pushing you for an almost solid 3 minutes until you're at the point of exploding, “The Life in Pink” saves you from the edge but punches you in the face to do it. The grinding of the bass weaving with beautifully shrill guitars elegantly exuding aggression that maintain a melody almost in spite of the desperate lyrics; which are sung through distortion and what sounds like 35 years of chain smoking. For you youngsters out there trying to start a band, this is what pissed off is supposed to sound like.

That's the thing I love about PIGS and all of the projects related to the members of Unsane. There are plenty of great noise rock bands out there, but often times their need to push boundaries sonically and in song structures loses the visceral, raw aggression of their punk and hardcore roots. PIGS stay pissed off and on focus. Sure, they're noisy and have dynamics aplenty, but there aren't many bands in the genre keeping the aggressive tone to the music at nearly the same level.

Even in tracks like “Amateur Hour In Dick City,” which has an absolutely beautiful chorus melody and sounds HUGE, the aggression remains both in tone and feel. The chorus in “Wrap It Up” with it's big, slowly lurching riff and the screaming proclamation “EVERYTHING COMES TO A HALT” is absolutely punch something as hard as you can worthy.

Mouth Dump” is a weird pause in the album, and while it provides a moment for the listener to breathe, it feels a bit unnecessary. As well, the surprise guest female vocals in “Bug Boy” were a very cool, entirely unexpected change of pace, though, they almost are a bit too left of center, and out of context, I wouldn't have known this was a PIGS song if this was the only track I heard. That can be good or bad depending on what you're looking for or wanting to hear.

The title track, “Wronger,” sounds as if Lemmy were singing over a New York Dolls track. The creepy, cricket chirping noise break at the 2 minute mark queuing a departure straight back into the throat grip mindset that is the band's consistent modus operandi.

Overall, this album is an excellent follow up to their first. A few oddball moments of sonic exploration and left turns only to double back onto their steadfast path of destruction. This is a band that should be in every fan of heavy music's catalogue, celebrated amongst the giants.

Words by Billy Myers

Thanks to Mathieu at Solar Flare Records Viral Propaganda PR and Earsplit PR for the promo. Wronger will be available from October 2nd 2015 on CD/DD/Vinyl from Solar Flare Records.