This is a band who may have possibly the most bonkers name I’ve ever seen, which also gives me a dilemma. By the time I’ve written the band’s name out in full a few times, I’ll have used a huge chunk of my word count, so I’ll refer to them as Pigs X 7. They’ve been around for five years, hailing from an increasingly popular psych-rock scene up in Newcastle, and they’ve built up quite a following during that time, so it’s only fitting that they release their debut album, entitled Feed The Rats, at long last.
On paper, it looks like a short album (at just three tracks long), but on record, it merges together drone metal, sludgy hard rock and desert rock to create these songs, each of which sounds louder than the other two. ‘Psychopomp’, the first of the two 15-minute-plus tracks, opens the album with relentless grooves highlighted by vocalist Matt Baty howling and wailing away like a mad banshee. Its simple, yet destructive bass riff drives this track for the first half of its brutal attack. Then after a short respite, it kicks back up again in punishing fashion with Baty rejoining us with lyrics that hopes to summon up the demons.
‘Sweet Relief’ may seem like a relief as it’s the shortest track on the album, but when it opens up, ‘relief’ isn’t the first word that comes to mind. You can almost hear the influence of Black Sabbath and Motorhead in this four-minute slab of stoner/doom metal that seems to have been unearthed from the 1970s, and the fact that Baty’s vocals on this track almost feels like Lemmy himself was brought back from the dead makes this track ever more sweeter. Then comes the closer, the second 15-minute track on the album, ‘Icon’. Although it starts off more mellow than the other two tracks, normal service is restored with some strained vocals, prog-inspired guitars along with its heavy-as-hell riffs. Their control of tempo and mood on this one is imperceptible and thoroughly irresistible, and it makes for a devastating and pounding finale to this album.
In its 40-minute odyssey, Pigs X 7 doesn’t ease the listener through the experience. Instead it pummels them relentlessly into submission throughout. Their aim was to make the most unpleasant, yet accessible noise they could possibly make, and it’s worked to perfection. It isn’t heavy like ‘heavy metal’ heavy, it’s ‘getting sucked into a black hole’ heavy! While Black Sabbath sadly said farewell to the metal world, you can be sure that with intense and unremittingly loud bands such as Pigs X 7, the future is indeed in safe hands.
- Sweet Relief
Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs are:
Matt Baty – Vocals
Sam Grant – Guitar
Adam Ian Sykes – Guitar
John-Michael Hedley – Bass
Ewan Mackenzie – Drums