Saturday 8 November 2014

Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs - Psychopomp (EP Review)

Psychopomp cover art

Album Type: EP
Date Released: 22nd Sept 2014
Label: Box Records
Psychopomp – Track Listing

1.Psychopomp 21:18
2.Joseph Curwen - Psychopomp (Joseph Curwen Remix) 21:53


Sam Grant
Matthew James Baty
Johnny Hedley
Adam Ian Sykes
Ewan Mackenzie


Psychopomp” is the second release from Newcastle sonic attack unit Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs (henceforth referred to as Pigs x 7 for the sake of my fingers and sanity) taking the form of a single 21 minute cosmic journey into the heart of infinity. Featuring members of excellent Glaswegian doom droners Ommadon and the absolutely terrifying Khünnt amongst others, Pigs x 7 opt for a far less punishing approach but still deliver a satisfyingly heavy racket.

The voyage begins in calm instrumental territory. Wah and reverb-heavy clean guitars create a hazy evocative atmosphere reminiscent of the widescreen prog meditations of Grails and the minimal twang of Earth. The rhythm section settles into a simple yet shifting beat adorned with a one note bass pulse. The overall effect is hypnotic and reminiscent of the quieter moments of renowned explorers of the outer limits Bardo Pond. Pigs x 7 could have explored this rich musical landscape for the full epic duration of this track without boredom ever setting in. However, after 5 minutes all backing fades to leave the bass in full focus, introducing a rolling stoner riff which the rest of the band take as an invitation to launch “Psychopomp” into the depths of space and beyond.

Layers of glorious distortion descend transforming the song into a triumphant hybrid of the desert Sabbath fuzz of Kyuss and the retro overloaded psych noise of Comets on Fire. The echo chamber vocals are particularly reminiscent of the latter band but opt for an aggressive, metallic howl as opposed to bluesy grit. The initial riff twists and turns through different forms before slowing to a more soporific pace and delivering a groove Sleep would be proud of. The final stretch of the track sees the guitars strive for higher and higher planes as the rhythm becomes ever more frantic until all elements fall into chaos, eventually boiling away to nothing. After catching your breath for a few quiet moments you will then feel an urge to take this exhilarating ride again.

Also featured here is a remix of “Psychopomp” by Joseph Curwen. He is a new name to me but anyone billed as a “Lovecraft inspired droner” can’t be bad as far as I’m concerned. The remix doesn’t disappoint on this promise either. Curwen creates a 21 minute cloud of shifting, minimal drone from what seems to be shards of guitars and noise from the main track. Snatches of vocals are taken to create disembodied wordless moans to complete the eerie vibe.

This is a thoroughly satisfying release from Pigs x 7, although only consisting of one track and a remix more ground is covered here than most bands can hope to tread throughout an entire back catalogue. My only complaint is that the initial run of 50 tapes of “Psychopomp” is already sold out, gahhhhh! It is available as a digital release though via Box Records bandcamp and a second run is promised to materialise sometime in the near future. A release of this magnitude is worthy of a fine vinyl release though, here’s hoping that happens soon.

Words by Charlie Butler

Thanks to Matt at Box Records for sending us a promo to review. Unfortunately the limited edition cassette is long gone. But you can still buy this fine heavy slab of weirdness on Digital Download.

For more information