Released: 2013, Solar Flare Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
So-called 'supergroups' are becoming a bit de rigeur these days, as band members seek to diversify their musical outlets or even just increase their chances of succsss, both artistic and financial. One such group of likely lads is PIGS, comprising of Unsane guitarist Dave Curran, Player's Club/Freshkills wunderkid Jim Paradise and bassist Andrew Schneider from Slughog. When the trio decided to form a band and begin recording albums, they naturally called on the producing talents of Schneider, who has worked his magic with Converge and Keelhaul, among others. Having formed in New York in 2008, they only released their debut album 'You Ruin Everything' in April 2012 on Solar Flare Records. It proved to be an immediate success, with its vinyl pressing selling out twice.
Their latest release is a three-track EP entitled 'Gaffe'. Again, they have cannily released a vinyl pressing as well as a digital download (undergroud purists do love a good vinyl collector's item). The EP was released in Europe on October 15th and their European tour began the very next day, so the band were very handily provided with three brand news songs to air on said tour.
The EP begins with the title track, whose funky, gutteral bass intro immediately makes one's ears prick up and certainly sets the tone. As the song develops, it throws up snarling, attitude-laden vocals, gloriously distorted guitars and more of that deep, fuzzy bass. This is rock n roll at its scuzziest: greasy, sweaty, no-nonsense and quite, quite exhilarating.
Track two, 'Elo Kiddies', continues in a similar vein, with an insouciant yet engaging energy and witty/terrifying lyrics ("you KNOW we're out to get you!"). In fact, the gravelly vocals and the lyrics create a song that could double as Freddy Krueger's personal soundtrack! Again, the guitar and bass sound magnificently fuzzy and dirty, with the drums sounding equally dangerous.
Final number 'If I'm In Luck' really does demonstrate once and for all the musical talents this trio has in spades (if there was any doubt). Their distorted, mangled playing creates a sense of doom, and a sound so thick and crusty that one almost feels like it can be grasped out of the air and snapped like wet, fresh kindling. To single out a band member seems a tad unfair but it has to be said that Schneider is an outstanding bassist: he produces a deliciously malevolent sound throughout the EP, resulting in a loose yet powerful ambience. 'If I'm In Luck' ends in a blaze of explosive distortion before reluctantly fading away. Outstanding.
It has to be said that some supergroups end up as merely a sum of their parts, with the more famous members taking the lions share of the attention and rendering the group as a mere curiosity. However, in the case of PIGS, the three musicians involved have constructed a band that is definitely equal, with no weaknesses. Each member is superb, each instrument is allowed to shine, no aspect is more important than the others. The result is an EP full of murky, unkempt and seemingly effortless brilliance. PIGS sound like the aggressive yet world-weary older brother of modern rock. Take a listen - if you dare.
Review by Melanie Brehaut