Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs: King of Cowards (Rocket Recordings)

Excellent second album from the Newcastle quintet sees them hone their sound to monumental effect

Released Sep 28th, 2018 via Rocket Recordings / By Max Pilley
Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs: King of Cowards (Rocket Recordings) When PigsX7 (let’s save time) emerged with their arresting debut album Feed the Rats in 2017, they turned quite a few heads. If their name didn’t get you, their mutant cacophony of sludge riffs and skyscraping volume did. With just three tracks, two of them topping fifteen minutes in length, they left an indelible mark in the short term memory and long term hearing of everyone they encountered.

They only gave us a year to let our ears stop ringing. Second album King of Cowards is here, and their power is undiminished. It is changed, though. PigsX7 now deal out their menace, their cranium-crinkling, chainsaw-swinging, eardrum-bleeding frenzy in shorter, yet somehow sharper shocks. We get six tracks this time, most of them reaching the eight minute zone, but they are bound together by a newfound discipline.

It’s as if the Newcastle five-piece have calculated that they can have even more impact on our inner sanctuary if they sucker us in with familiar song structures. Cake of Light was their first taste of serious radio airplay, with an undeniably melodic central guitar riff that, hell, you could actually hum. Vocalist Matt Baty’s howl is a little harder to invoke, like Lemmy if he put down the bottle and started sampling something a little more pharmacological. Opener GNT starts with a disarmingly gentle murmur before its titanic explosion, with a vocal cocktail at its climax that features fellow North East musical excavator Richard Dawson.

The deviation is not likely to draw in a mainstream crowd, but it will satisfy the metalheads and experimentalists alike. No British band from such extreme stock is a more exciting crossover prospect right now. 8/10