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Seven is the magic number. Indeed, not only do psychologists theorise that the human brain can only memorise a sequence of this length, but Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs - the Newcastle-based maximalists whose riffs, raw power and rancour have blazed a trail across the darker quarters of the underground in the last five years - have made a second album in King Of Cowards which does its damnedest to take consciousness to its very limits. Moreover, another notable seven is dealt with here - that of the deadly sins. As vocalist and synth player Matt Baty notes “For a long time I’ve questioned how and where guilt can be used as a form of oppression. When can guilt be converted into positive action?
After typing all of the lyrics up I realised I’d unwittingly referenced every one of the seven deadly sins throughout the album. That’s my fire and brimstone Catholic upbringing coming into play there!” Building on the momentum this band has built since their January 2017 debut Feed The Rats, this opus sees them entering a new phase as a sleeker and still more dangerous swineherd. The Iggy-esque drive to dementia, Sabbath-esque squalor and Motörhead-style dirt may still be present and correct, yet the songs are leaner, the long-drawn-out riff-fests sharpened into addictive hammerblows and the nihilistic dirges of yore alchemically transformed into an uplifting and inviting barrage of hedonistic abandon.
“The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which” So George Orwell noted at the end of a certain slim volume. King Of Cowards is nothing less than just such a metamorphosis, one in which - in a blur of primal urges and beastly physicality - this band shows us just which animals are really in charge of the farm.
Barry says: I could imagine that this is seven pigs, if and only if pigs were capable of sporting a guitar / bass / duo of drumsticks and using them to smash out an epic conceptual behemoth centred around the seven sins and sounding like a metal freight train smashing into a mountain at full speed. I've not heard of that being the case, so I can only assume these are super-human musical beings and not their fleshy porcine counterparts.
5. Cake Of Light