By Luigi Sibona
Here’s a fat slab of sludged up rock’n’roll for you. Newcastle’s Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs are bringing the riffs by the bucketload on their second LP, ‘King of Cowards’ with mountainous songs and a bolstered sense of urgency.
As a total mark for the drudgey depths of metal’s slowest subgenre, I was initially concerned Pigsx7 was to be something of a compromised sound; sitting somewhere between the Desertfest quagmire and the palate of the Q-reading, chino-wearing, radio 6 listeners. That wasn’t meant to sound as derisive as it did… And for the most part my concerns were unfounded.
There is a sense of familiarity that sets in amid the first two cuts, single ‘GNT’ and ‘Shockmaster’. Opening the record up, ‘GNT’ packs a punch and gets you into the fuzzed up feel of ‘King of Cowards’ , serving as a hazy lead-in to the smokey, psyched-up production job. This is certainly a meaty sounding record with every layer sitting just right in the mix. Maybe giving the guitar tone even more of a serrated edge would have been the icing on the cake but for the average rock fan, this is heavy as balls and it sounds great. ‘Shockmaster’ settles into a more comfortable groove. Sitting in the pocket for the 6+ minute running time, I can’t help but feel that pulling an Electric Wizard and ramping up the pace after the initial crawl could have distinguished ‘Shockmaster’ but as it is, this is a solid if unremarkable headbanger.
Listen to ‘GNT’ here:
The album takes an awesome upwards curve on its centrepiece, the grand, sprawling and riotous ‘A66’. Sitting at just shy of 9 minute, Pigsx7 really up the ante here. Ramping up the pace this shifts gears from a bonged-out head nod, to neck-snapping headbanging and serves the album massively. It sits comfortably as the album standout with the shifting pace and evolving song structure keeping you constantly guessing and ravenous for more.
There is a punk raucousness to the vocal delivery; a sense of urgency and virility amids the swampy grooves that recalls Buzz Osbourne at his most punked out on early Melvins records. When ‘King of Cowards’ recalls everything from Black Sabbath to Kyuss to Melvins, it’s doing something right.
Pigsx7 really aren’t doing anything new on ‘King of Cowards’ but what they do packs a considerable wallop with a couple absolute standouts.