This band came to our attention last summer as part of an exemplary line-up of heavy psychedelia and noise at Raw Power festival in London.
Heralded as one of the sets of that weekend, the quintet from Newcastle laid their cards firmly on the table. Except these cards were metaphorical and musical and they pointed towards a somewhat frightening but awesome future.
In fairness, they had two very strong records well under their belt at that point: The Wizard and the Seven Swines, released as a split 12” with Glasgow’s The Cosmic Dead in September 2013. The Cosmic Dead are headlining a very tasty Friday night line-up at Reverberation festival in Dublin in early April, and are all-round mighty improvisers in the field. There was also the wonderfully titled Psychopomp, which came a year later.
Both are single tracks of about twenty minutes and are worth deep investigation (hint – there’s links to streams of them both above). The former swings pretty immediately into a signature riff that gets the listener hipping around the invisible pedal board on the bedroom floor, then bellows over a huge loudspeaker system in a warehouse before later dropping off at the massive door, cylindrical and ajar, of Earth’s stiffer mantle.
Psychopomp (their self-described ‘difficult second release’) is naturally a more considered and daring piece of work. With meticulous engineering, it takes a minute to ease into its swirling sparkly world, before strapping in for a more outward looking journey into space. It balances pure fun rocking with some crushing guitar heaviness and, by the final act, faces you with the black hole the band themselves traveled through in the first release.
Before getting too carried away with things, it should be reinforced that what they bring on these recordings is backed up by their live swagger. They’ve been working on their core conditioning and recently rinsed out a very grateful audience on a bill they shared with Luminous Bodies, Girl Sweat & Casual Sect in The Victoria in London, a pub/venue in Dalston that does decent burgers.
The night was something of a showcase for a label with a short but impressive catalogue by the name of Box Records. They released Psychopomp on tape, but it’s now sold out.
While there’s no doubt Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs are a band of equal parts, that night brought a particularly transfixing rhythm section that persistently hammered through the swirling chaos surrounding them.
The drummer has a lovely ambient project called Dextro and plays in the devastatingly heavy drone band Ommadon, who caused the ceiling in Mr. Bradley’s in Cork to start flaking when they played there at a brilliant all-dayer in the summer of 2013.
The bass player is in a fuzzy psyched out jam band from Newcastle called Blown Out. In true underground music family tree fashion, the singer/synthist from Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs plays in that band too.
So there ya go: some encouragement to listen to Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, with some nuggets to be listening to along the way.
They’re playing that Raw Power festival again this year and an LP is set to be released in the next few months. Now that will be a treat.
Have a listen to a broadcast from the final day of Raw Power 2015 here. Sadly Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs aren’t to be heard in it but it’s worth giving four hours to all the same. It features the Circle set which blew/broke a lot of minds.
Images in this post come courtesy of Jose Ramon Caamaño, captured at the aforementioned recent Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs gig/Box Records showcase.