Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs- Land of Sleeper (Album Review)

Feb. 13, 2023


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Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs (who I will be referring to as Pigs x7 from now on) has been creating loud, lumbering riffs for over a decade now, capturing the familiar swagger and weight of Black Sabbath alongside the weirdness of Melvins.  With each album they’ve been branching out and trying out different things while keeping things rooted in everything heavy rock, and this is no different with their latest effort Land of Sleeper.  Here Pigs x7 strives to strike that balance between accessibility and experimentation, providing some off-kilter and downright stand-offish riffing alongside hooks that have some real swagger behind them.  While some moments do resonate better than others, this is still another strong showing from a band that’s able to break free from the usual Black Sabbath and stoner rock/metal tropes.

Land of Sleeper kicks things off with a more up-tempo groove that feels somewhere between Thin Lizzy and Black Sabbath, with some of the more modern fuzz and weight of bands like Torche and BaronessPigs x7 starts off in a bit more accessible fashion compared to some of their earlier discography, as the first two tracks balance that rock ‘n roll swagger and melody with some genuinely heavy grooves and rumbling tonality, but as you get further in their experimental side becomes more apparent.  Admittedly while both “Ultimate Hammer” and Terror’s Pillow” are solid, it wasn’t until the back-to-back punch of “Big Rig” and “The Weatherman” that the album really began to sink its claws in.  The former goes for huge grooves and switches tempos frequently, moving seamlessly from doom to burly hard rock and even some psych/space rock at the end, but the latter is where some of the Melvins influence and genuine weirdness seeps in.  Expanding slowly with softer instrumentation and bursts of squealing guitar, “The Weatherman” explodes into a lurching, noise rock and doom jaunt around the halfway point that’s weird and downright fun.  From there Pigs x7 continues to hop around stylistically, going a bit more straightforward on “Mr. Medicine” but delving into more noise rock and off-kilter tones on closer “Ball Lightning”.

Vocalist Matt Baty has one of those rougher pitches that feels somewhere between singing and yelling, which continues to suit the mix of sounds the band is going for.  Compared to some of Pigs x7 previous material he seems to be letting loose even more than before, as his performance starts off high energy and in your face and only seems to gain steam from one song to the next.  The aforementioned “The Weatherman” shines in this regard, as it opens with spoken word/sung verses courtesy of some guests (Kate Smith, Richard Dawson, and Sally Pilkington) that have a bit of a stranger feel to them, but around the halfway mark Baty comes roaring back in with an unhinged scream/yell that hits extremely hard.  This back and forth of softer singing and yelling/screaming is continued on “Ball Lightning” where Baty trades off with singer Cath Tyler for a song that has a classic rock ‘n roll meets gritty doom feel.

Pigs x7 continue to explore just about every facet of stoner rock/metal, classic rock ‘n roll, and doom, with plenty of other elements in between.  It did take a few tracks to really kick in for me and for me this band is at their most memorable when they’re getting weird and trying different things compared to some of the more straightforward riffs, but Land of Sleeper remains remarkably consistent from beginning to end.  If you like your grooves big and weighty and your bands to have some Sabbath influence but not beat the same dead horse, this is an album worth giving a spin.  Land of Sleeper is available from Missing Piece Group Records and Rocket Recordings.

-Review by Chris Dahlberg