- Released: 2020
- Origin: Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England
- Label: Rocket Recordings
- Best Track: Reducer
From arguably the coolest-named band around at the moment comes this fifth album, cementing a unique concoction of punk, sludge metal and (sort of) psychedelia. I’ve seen them described as ‘Black Flag/Sabbath’, such is their marriage of hardcore punk and heavy metal.
Opening track ‘Reducer’ is everything Pigs x7 do well in one four-and-a-half minute nutshell. The pacey drums and guitars are blanketed over by Matt Baty’s echo-drenched, faraway vocals, yet somehow it goes from that frenetic start to a slow, grinding heavy metal ending. It also leads effortlessly into the following track ‘Rubbernecker’ – in fact it didn’t register with me at first that one track ends and the other begins. They just seem like they’re supposed to be played back to back.
On first listen, I thought the album got a bit samey after that, but I’ve gradually started to appreciate that there’s a lot going on in these songs. Whether it’s the guitars doing their own thing, or the lyrics switching between the surreal and the mundane (“What’s your star sign? Libra, that’s mine!”), you notice something new on every listen.
Like its name and cover, Viscerals is a gristly and sordid sounding album. The crunching, sludgy guitars are like huge slabs of meat, and the offshoots of psychedelic noodling you hear elsewhere are the entrails hanging from them. It makes for a challenging yet rewarding course that leaves you pretty stuffed.