PIGSX7 PLAY OXFORD THIS WEEK. HERE’S THE FIRST OF A COUPLE OF REVIEWS TO GET US WARMED UP
Nothing says WE’VE ARRIVED quite like sticking a 20-foot monolith outside your house on the day you move in, and this track is very much on those making-a-statement lines – an immovable, rough-edged pasting of fried motorik, asteroidal burnout and howling catharsis. Punk Sabbath for the post-Sleep generation? Welcome to the first shot from Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs.
But if you got here by GNT or some other radio darling from album #2 King of Cowards, strap in and gear up for something far less concise.
This little brutey clocks in at 22 minutes. All one track of it.
Prog? No. Primal? Shit yeah. The opening riff is coiled, up on the balls of its feet and ready to shift, like rock-ist Oneida launching one of their head-fucking long-forms but, as you’d expect, much rougher in its horizon-bound momentum.
Then comes Baty. Matt Baty. The Voice. Less a vocal than a hurl into the Spent Zone, he forces total lung capacity into every word and is vein-bulger hoarse before he even gets going, yet it’s not a macho metal hard-fest scream or anything contrived like that. His is an all-too-human bellow and is a massive part of what makes this band the way it is. No-one else sounds like them.
So, after the opening repetitions and moto rhythmics, what happens in 22 minutes of TWATSS?
(after two years with this track, I literally only just noticed that acronym when I typed it here. An accident? Maybe. But then again, these guys also have/had a band called Khunnt, so who knows?)
5 minutes: RIFF DROP. Floor-opening bottom end, a hulking motherfucker bulked by four-string filth, lifted by post-rock arcs and then fully grooved by insistent badass bass.
By now, Pigsx7 are beginning to sound apocalyptic. We’re in a transition to somewhere – or steeling ourselves for something.
8 minutes: ANOTHER RIFF DROP. Heavy as – ah shit, it’s gone again. Is this the bridge? As if. But change is a coming, you can smell it.
10 minutes: PSYCH’S OUT. Spacier, less dense, almost krautrocking were it not for Baty’s clipped yelps and barks.
12 minutes: SLEEP. The slowdown. The beating. A one-chord pounding, straight outta Dopesmoker and (we now know) the sound of Pigs to come.
18 minutes: FALSE ENDER. One last gasp in this endless end and we’re almost back to that Oneida trance thing, but by now everything looks and feels different.
We’ve been through the mill. And so have Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs. It’s like they came of age during the track, starting out lithe but ending it burned, hardened, scarred, thicker set, complete. They’ve been somewhere and taken us with ’em, but no-one quite knows where. It’s all about the journey, man – and the sheer bloody force of it all: a turbulent, never-ending blast. Whatever it is that’s driving Pigsx7, it’s made a merry hell of a first release.
The Wizard and the Seven Swines: released in 2013, get it on Bandcamp
Cover image taken from my download from Pigsx7 bandcamp site