Pigs – Wronger


Heavier and angrier than a sumo wrestler with an advanced case of rabies…

Review by Jason Guest

Solar Flare Records

Release date: 2 October 2015

With a name “short enough that press and promoters couldn’t fuck it up”, NYC’s Pigs first appeared in 2012 with You Ruin Everything (reviewed here), an album that I’ve returned to time and again since the promo arrived in my inbox and the vomit-splatter vinyl landed on my doorstep. Fronted by Dave Curran from Unsane and featuring Jim Paradise from Player’s Club and Freshkills on drums and renowned producer Andrew Schneider on bass (of Cave In, Converge, Made Out of Babies, Unsane and Keelhaul infamy), it’s fair to say that the game was loaded from the beginning. With such a lineup, it was going to be good before they destroyed a single note. 2013 and the three-track EP Gaffe (reviewed here) appeared, the only thing disappointing about it being that there were only three tracks. And now, at long last, here we are in 2015 and the swine are back with number two, Wronger.

Opening with three minutes of torturous and twisted feedback punctuated with random hits on random drums, ‘A Great Blight’ is a mess. Yep, this is going to be good. First track proper ‘The Life in Pink’ kicks things off with off-beat drumming and a guitar line that threatens to fall over itself before Pigs slip into a cascade of riffs, rhythms, and vicious vocals that are as discordant as they are colossal. The punk-infused ‘Bet It All On Black’ is attitude embodied and ‘Amateur Hour in Dick City’ reeks of the despair and frustration that its fantastic title implies, the melodies that emerge as the track proceeds being as uplifting as they are warped. And with ‘Mope’, drums shoved through broken speakers play host to a bunch of manic and mangled guitar noises and a furious vocal, a massive grin is spreading uncontrollably across my face.

So far, Wonger is heavier and angrier than a sumo wrestler with an advanced case of rabies – and it’s fucking hilarious! There’s something undeniably and inexplicably funny about the absurd levels of irritation and ire that is packed into every ounce of this shit storm. ‘Wrap It Up’ follows a fairly predictable structure and despite the closing thirty seconds bringing in a fairly catchy melody, along with the flat ‘Make Sure To Forget’, is a weak point on the album. But ‘Mouth Dump’, with banjo and a steady bass drum stomp to accompany the sobering ramblings of two politically-disillusioned men lifts us out the absurdity for a rare – and unsettling – moment of clarity. Julie Christmas from Made Out of Babies makes a guest appearance on ‘Bug Boy’, the savage and unremitting racket made even better. Not that Schneider or Curran’s vocals are lacking any but her range brings a melody and an angry despair to the venom that augments the track like no other on the album. Were Pigs to form a band with Christmas front and centre, like this band, they’d be on to another winner.

The persistent punch of the title track with the snare steadily hitting hard throughout is a monster of a track, the latter half of the track collapsing into doom-heavy disorder with the riffs, the vocals, the drums and the melodies battling it out with each other and all losing. In a good way, of course. And so with the near-eight-minute ‘Donnybrook’ to close the album, you’d think that after being treated so badly by ten unforgiving tracks that this would be too much for both band and listener. But no, Pigs pull out all the stops and let every ounce of their depraved and distorted and deranged sickness spew forth from every orifice for a track that ranges shifts from the slow and the sludgy through almost-gentle atmospherics and melodies to the remorseless and the punishing. The only thing that they haven’t topped from their first album is the artwork; two punch-drunk clowns stranded on a beach takes some beating. Anyway, if you don’t buy this, you’ll never do anything wronger. Okay, I’ll show myself out…

Pigs – Wronger20158 out of 10

Track listing:

  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