Pig is the solo project of Raymond Watts, who has also collaborated with such artists as Einstürzende Neubauten, Foetus and KMFDM, of whom he was a founding member. The influence from each is apparent on his latest album, which was originally released last year as “Pigmartyr” on Grand Recordings before that label went under. The KMFDM similarities are most apparent, of course, but Pig is heavier than KMFDM these days, less tongue-in-cheek than in your face, as evidenced by album opener “Suck Shit Spit.” “Here To Stay” has the catchy female backing vocals – provided by Haloblack’s Arianne Shreiber – down pat, and “Situation” starts out with techno beats and rapid-fire spoken vocals before jumping into a catchy rock chorus. Watts also learned some lessons from Foetus mastermind Jim Thirlwell back in the day, and shares his vocal approach of gravelly, guttural growls. He’s also got the same fondness for mixing up his arrangements; “God Rod” busts out with a giant horn section, while “On The Slaughterfront” is beatnik jazz industrial, like Tom Waits via Throbbing Gristle. The Einstürzende Neubauten influences are harder to discern, but Pig shares that band’s eclecticism, jumping from catchy punk rock on “Take” to the slow bass-heavy drawl of “Arbor Vitate” without stopping to take a breath. Pig more than just the sum of Watts’ influences, though, and it’s certainly more than just gleefully offensive shock rock tactics. Watts is a fine songwriter, and this album is surprisingly full of nuance. “Kundalini,” for example, starts off with Watts grumbling over some glitch-heavy electronics and moody, mellow guitars, but the layers of instruments, voices and samples build organically into an epic refrain by the end of the song. One gets the impression that Watts could be equally competent composing jazz or classical; that he puts his efforts towards industrial rock is a gift to the scene and a testament of his love for the music. If you miss the quality industrial of the old Wax Trax days and you haven’t heard Pig yet, you need to check this out and get a taste of the other white meat.
Visit the self-described Lord of Lard at http://www.thesickcity.com/.
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