“He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man”, as a sage wiser and more debauched than most of us once remarked. Such is the headspace of Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs (Pigs x 7), whose animalistic headspace is set out by their very moniker, yet who have wasted little time in creating an almighty psychic charge that has blown minds and summoned bedlam in sweat-drenched venues across the UK’s underground and beyond.
“It’s a pretty perfect balance of obnoxiousness, ridiculousness, intensity and theatrics, and somewhere within that spectrum is where our music sits too.” reckons Matthew Baty, whose vein-popping onstage performances and cathartic bellow form a primary ingredient of the Newcastle five-piece’s devastating live shows. “We truly love the emotionally dark bands that we are in (Ommadon,Blown Out, Khunnt). Pigs however provided an opportunity to do something different, something that is fun with a different kind of intensity.”
Playing their first gig supporting Goat at what was only the latter’s second ever show, the band have gigged relentlessly with kindred spirits including The Cosmic Dead and Luminous Bodies, not to mention gracing festivals like Supernormal and Portugal’s Reverence with their feral attack. Yet the time has come for this band to transcend the realm of word-of-mouth phenomenon and be judged on their feverish and demented collision of psych-drone dementia and riff-driven salvation alone.
The inarguable proof is Feed The Rats, the overwhelming first album the band have created for Rocket Recordings – equal parts righteous repetition, bludgeoning brute force and Sabbathian squalor, its alchemical charge has the power to transform bleary-eyed abandon into small-hours revelation. This three-track, forty-minute monument of chaotic catharsis captures the everything on-eleven spirit of the band’s live manifestation whilst adding a level of finesse and texture often less easily accessible in a dangerous haze of flying hair, discarded clothes and spilt premium lager. Channeling the grimy trip hazards of Monster Magnet’s ‘Spine Of God’ through a prism of kraut-derived repetition and Part Chimp style bloody mindedness, the resulting hallucinatory vortex appears constantly on the realm of breaking point.
Yet for Baty, the porcine realm is less about a nihilistic quest for fiery oblivion than one might imagine. “You know, I think we’ve experienced it, many times. It’s those gigs where we can almost sense that everyone in the room is engaged. The energy created is so thick you can almost bite down on it and it feels like there’s no longer any barrier between band and audience. Those are the special shows, where there’s a solidarity and a very visceral bond. That, and being able to smell our amps melting”.