Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, aka Pigs x7, are from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, have been in existence since 2012 and consist of Matt Baty (Vocals), Sam Grant (Guitar), Adam Ian Sykes (Guitar), Christopher Morley (Drums) and John-Michael Hedley (Bass). Viscerals is their third effort to date following 2017’s Feed The Rats and 2018’s King Of Cowards, the band also did a split EP in 2013 with Glasgow’s The Cosmic Dead (review) where they contributed the track The Wizard And The Seven Swines.
I had the great fortune of seeing the band perform last Halloween at The Brickyard in Carlisle with a close friend. It was a superb performance, so when Lee offered up the chance to review this latest effort, I leapt at the opportunity. As is the case with my reviews I inevitably end up mentioning the artwork, which this time round features a Doric column with some entails and an eyeball with a fork through it. You could say that this makes for quite a ‘visceral’ and bold statement at the outset.
The band opens with the rousing 4 minute Reducer which sounds like Sabbath if they were processed through a noise-rock filter. A marvellous way to kick off the album. Up next we have Rubbernecker which reminds me of Jane’s Addiction’s own twisted brand of psychedelia, and frontman Matt’s intonations, on this track, are reminiscent of legendary frontman Perry Farrell from around their Nothing’s Shocking period.
New Body, the second longest track on the album has an early Melvins feel to it, (think Ozma/Bullhead). As the world’s biggest Melvins nerd I was delighted to hear Buzz and the boys inspiring Newcastle’s finest. The song is over 7 minutes of relentless sludge/grunge grind, and tasty it is too. Blood And Butter is over a minute and a half of Throbbing Gristle style sound collage (RIP Genesis P Orridge), with a simulated conversation taking place in a restaurant between a waiter and a patron.
In conclusion I was impressed, but then these lads could record an album of fart noises and I’d still probably end up buying a copy…
We then hit the second half of the album which starts with the thrashy World Crust, the main riff sounding a little like old school Metallica, you know, from when they were good. This track has an oddly anthemic feel to it, which is not a trait that Pigs x7 are necessarily best known for. Crazy In Blood continues the anthemic flavour of World Crust with an awesomely catchy chorus worthy of Twisted Sister, or Norwegian eccentrics Turbonegro, and with some lovely My Bloody Valentine twists during the verses. I really love this track as it displays Pigs x7 sense of fun and this would be one I could see myself headbanging to at one of their future live shows.
Penultimate track Hollywood Bolson is the longest on the album and shows the band at their most noise-rock with parts of the track resembling Jesus Lizard and The Cows. For some reason frontman Baty reminds me of David Yow, not just physically, but vocally (this is a compliment by the way Matt if you are reading this). Hell’s Teeth closes the album in a somewhat typically solid Pigs x7 fashion, which is fine by me.
In conclusion I was impressed, but then these lads could record an album of fart noises and I’d still probably end up buying a copy. The band took a more experimental route this time round without ever compromising their sound, there is a diverse array of musical styles on offer, but they manage to remain reassuringly themselves. It’s often a delicate balancing act, experimenting without alienating your fanbase or compromising your core sound too much, but Pigs x 7 show that it is possible.
Scribed by: Reza Mills