Review Summary: Remarkably, Pig Destroyer shows that three piece grindcore outfits are more than capable of ravaging your eardrums - but still making you want to hear more of the frantic riffs, brutal drumming and pained roars.Pig Destroyer
are a three-piece American grindcore outift, hailing from Virginia. Guitarist Scott Hull has played in a number of other grind bands such as Anal Cunt
, Agoraphobic Nosebleed
and Japanese Torture Comedy Hour
but decided to form Pig Destroyer to bring back the sound of what grindcore used to be (ala Napalm Death). Prowler In the Yard
was the band's first major release if you count 38 Counts of Battery
as more of a compilation of previously released and unreleased material. The band recorded the album in Hull's basement on what was essentially an 8 track - amateur-ish I hear you say?
Well, this album is far from it.
Prowler In the Yard is an album that grabs you by the throat and profusely pummels you into oblivion for the most part. Vocalist J.R. Hayes possesses what is not a usual grindcore voice in that he tends to shout and scream rather than grunt/growl. Scott Hull is a riffmeister of the highest order, constantly bombarding the listener with sublime riffs and imaginative guitar playing. The drumming of Brian Harvey also cannot go unmentioned - the guy is a monster behind his kit, utilising a huge range of different beats from the typical grind blastbeats to the more varied and unusual punk beats. Each member possesses immense talent - J.R. is not only a competent vocalist but an absolutely wonderful lyricist. Prowler In the Yard is an album steeped in disturbing imagery - right away, just by looking at the cover art, you know this is not going to be an album for the faint-hearted.
After a rather bizarre introduction in the form of Jennifer
, in which a computerized voice reels off a section of rather disturbing prose, the listener is thrust into a maniacal world of obsession, stalkers and fu
cked up-ness. The next 21 tracks are a trip through insanity - Cheerleader Corpses
sets the tone for the album. Right from the word go, the listener is treated to fast, brutal drumming accompanied with lightning-quick heavy riffs. Complementing this wall of sound is J.R., who quite literally screams his face off for the most part. One could say "yeah, it is good - don't know what he is saying though" and miss out completely on the amazing lyrics that J.R. writes. Reading through the lyric booklet is akin to rummaging through the works of a mentalist - however, no-one can deny that the lyrics possess a huge amount of intelligence and craft.
The album continues is the same vein - track after track of pained roars and brutal instrumentation. But the thing that makes Pig Destroyer so special is that they write memorable songs. Scott Hull pens, quite frankly, some of the best riffs grindcore is ever likely to see (check out the riff midway through Sheet Metal Girl
and tell me that isn't inoovative). Tracks such as Trojan Whore
and the album's single, Piss Angel
boast some awesome riffs. Harvey also puts in a memorable performance in that his drumming is so varied and interesting it just adds another dimension to Pig Destroyer's sound. The drum intro to Junkyard God
is guaranteed to stick in your mind.
Another thing that makes Pig Destroyer interesting is Hull's passion for sampling and downright strange samples at that. Whilst more prevalent in the album that succeeded Prowler (Terrifyer
), there are hints of eerie ambience and atmosphere that just help to give the album a more demented feel. The outro to the album is quite possibly one of the most eerie things ever, all the while still adding to the album's concept and overall feel. Pig Destroyer are also very good at melding together grind, crust punk and doom into one neat package. At their most furious, the band could easily rape the ears of any unsuspecting innocent but at times their doom metal influences shine through - tracks such as Hyperviolet
highlight this wonderfully. Catchy punk influences are also in abundance, with the middle section of Trojan Whore
being a prime example of Hull's ability to lock you into a groove.
Many people will pass Pig Destroyer off as nothing but deranged noise. However, if you are a fan of grindcore (or heavy music in general) then this band have a great deal to offer. Prowler In the Yard shows that grindcore is far from being a bland genre full of uninspired groups. Whilst not a classic, the album is damn near perfect - considering the album was recorded in a basement, the sound quality is fantastic (huge credit is due to Hull for his production) and the quality of the material is also exemplary. If you want a breath of fresh air in the grindcore genre, then look no further than Pig Destroyer.
Sheet Metal Girl