I first came across Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, one of my favourite band names ever, through their split with the Cosmic Dead back in 2013. I’d just got into the Cosmic Dead and basically bought anything that they had brought out. This was a very good move as the Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs side was, to my ears, every bit as good as the other side; which in itself is a reliable sign of quality. So when Rocket Recordings recently announced that they were putting out a Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs album I assumed that I had probably missed a few releases in between. After a bit of digging it appears that very little seems to have been released in the interim, a mini-cassette album from Box Records being the only release I could find, and the Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs track on that is to be found on this new release.
Somewhat relieved that I had missed anything I settled in to listen to ‘Feed The Rats’. As you would expect from a band who share members and/ or orbit in the same heavy psych galaxy as the likes of Blown Out, Haikai No Ku, Terminal Cheesecake, Luminous Bodies (to name just a few); this Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs album is bloody heavy. To be clear, its not heavy like metal is heavy…it’s getting sucked into a black hole heavy, and from the very beginning of album opener ‘Psychopomp’ (the title should be a clue) ‘Feed The Rats’ is an unrelenting motherfucker of a listen from start to finish.
Beginning with a massive bridgehead-assaulting riff ‘Psychopomp’ starts as if an army led by Lemmy is invading to grant sonic liberty to all that stands in its wake. That riff is massive, firm and unstoppable and Matt Baty’s vocals just add that extra level of menace to what is an already scary proposition. But the thing is, that this is arguable the least heavy track on the album. Because, when ‘Sweet Relief’ opens up, ‘relief’ is not the first word that comes to mind. A much shorter track than the other two, this is like getting a bowling ball at full pelt between eyes. I again love Baty’s Lemmy-esque vocals together with a more classic 70s rock aesthetic mixed in with the psych/ stoner heft. Just a brilliant track, and likely to remain so for the foreseeable future.
Last of the three tracks, ‘Icon’, begins in a more mellow fashion; something which lasts less than a minute before normal service is restored as the band power off on a seventeen minute journey setting the controls for the heart of what used to be a sun. You can feel the increase oppression as the sonic gravity pulses ever heavier as the twin guitar attack pins you to whatever you can find. This sounds as though the track is just pummelling its way through to its conclusion, and there is a a fair bit of that, but there are also some great diversions along the way which don’t mean that there is any let up in intensity, nevertheless it does make it more satisfying.
There’s no getting away from it…this is a massive slab of an album. It’s one that has been over three years in the making, given the band’s previous release, and for those waiting with baited breath since there Cosmic Dead split I doubt there will be very few who are disappointed. As a debut album is really sets out the Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs’ sound well and I am now very much to looking forward to seeing it performed live at one of their gigs over the next few months (see their Facebook page for details).
Guitar – Sam Grant
Guitar – Adam Ian Sykes
Bass – John-Michael Hedley
Drums – Ewan Mackenzie
‘Feed The Rats’ is released on January 20, 2017 and is available for vinyl/ cd pre-order at the Rocket Recordings bandcamp page here.