3
Wake Pig


3.5
great

Review

by YoYoMancuso USER (44 Reviews)
September 22nd, 2012 | 17 replies | 1,876 views


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "Burnt into ash, ash into dust, aren't these the gods we trust?"

8 of 9 thought this review was well written

A disclaimer before I begin this review: I have the original pressing of this album, which does not have the tracks 'One Way Town' or 'Circus Without Clowns'. Also, the tracks are ordered differently on this version (for example, Monster is track 10 instead of track 2, and Where's Max is track 2 instead of track 12).

Progressive rock is somewhat of an anomaly in the world of music, mainly because of how people choose to interpret it. When a prog album is done well, it is heralded as a classic by legion upon legion of the band's loyal followers and in several cases, it becomes one of the defining albums of the genre (Operation: Mindcrime, Selling England, etc.). However, progressive music is infamous for being overly pretentious (at least in some people's eyes) due to its long instrumental passages which are often described as being technical just for the sake of being technical, and prog lyrics can honestly be quite laughable at times. So imagine my surprise when I discovered one of the most down-to-earth, normal prog bands it's ever been my pleasure of hearing, Boston quartet 3.

3 is famous in the progressive arena for creating music that is just as thought-provoking and intelligent as it is light and just fun to listen to. Their musical standpoint is a double-edged sword however, as their sometimes almost poppy sound often piles unnecessary criticism onto the band when this sound only enhances their already great music. Nowhere is this more apparent than on their third record, Wake Pig.

From the moment Wake Pig begins you know you're in for a hell of a ride. Opening track "Alien Angel" represents everything the band is about: rumbling bass work, absolutely incredible electric-acoustic interplay, a crisp drum sound, and Joey Eppard's wailing vocals. Clocking in at less than 4 minutes, the song knows exactly what to do with the little time it's given and lays the groundwork for what will be an immensely satisfying record. Also, despite its undeniable progressive sound, the song follows a basic structure with a verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus progression. Don't let this fool you though: the shuffling, bass-ridden instrumental 'Where's Max' will immediately throw you off with its unpredictable patterns and shifting meters: and all this in the opening six minutes of the record.

3's guitar sound is pure bliss, with lead vocalist Eppard handling the acoustics while lead guitarist Billy Riker shows off his signature electric leads. A great example of how well they work together would be the title track, featuring a beautiful acoustic line during the verses over a funky, cowbell-led beat, before Riker's guitar bellows out some chugging chords during the chorus and immediately changes the mood of the track, before regressing back into the dreamy mood from before in a manner similar to Rishloo's "Turning Sheep Into Goats". The guitar styles are extremely varied, from flamenco on "Dregs" to Eppard's blistering tap solos of instrumental "Bramfatura" and some laid-back alternative chords on album highlight "Trust", Eppard and Riker are never above throwing a curveball at their audience, which is what gives 3 their extremely loyal (albeit not too large) fan base.

Most of the tracks here are shorts bursts of energy, with the longest "Amazedisgrace" clocking in at 6 minutes (although there is an 8-minute hidden track tacked onto the end of it, along with 2 minutes of silence). In progressive music this is extremely uncommon: songwriters in the genre often need time to let their songs build, as progressive music is often slow-burning and extremely tense. This is not the case with 3: their style is loose and wild, with each song featuring a different kind of ridiculously bouncy bass groove that just makes you want to dance. Although 3 slows down with the double whammy of "Dogs of War" and "Soul To Sell" the rest of the album is uptempo and fun, which is how a good rock album should be. Every song (with the exception of "Bramfatura" which is just Eppard's acoustic) features outstanding, upbeat drum work by Chris Gartmann, called "Gartdrumm" by the band members. His beats are often shuffly, tom-heavy, and played at just the right volume so they don't sound lazy, but aren't too overbearing. The band's lyrics are nothing amazing, but they're definitely better than some other prog bands I've listened to which just go way over-the-top with their attempts to be groundbreaking (I won't mention any band names at the risk of starting a sh*tstorm).

Without a doubt the best song on this record is the breathtaking "Trust". I wasn't even gonna review this until I caught myself singing this song's amazing chorus in the shower about a week ago: it's an alt-rock gem that will get stuck in your head no matter how hard you try. Beginning with a simple acoustic progression, Gartmann comes in with an outstanding beat that compliments the bass and Riker's chugging metallic chords perfectly. Eppard guides the song's verses with his outstanding voice before leading it into one of the most amazing choruses I've heard in a while. When Eppard sings "they stopped digging for you long ago", I challenge you not to drop your jaw. It's not the most challenging thing to sing, but the way it fits with the music just makes it a truly blissful moment.

Now, after all this praise, you may be wondering why I scored this at a 3.5. And ladies and gentlemen (probably mostly gentlemen), the reason for that is that after "Trust", the album's quality takes a nosedive. After two filler tracks that were added solely because they're ballads (Dogs of War, Soul To Sell) we get an Alien Angel rehash called "Queen" and another slower track called "Monster" that does absolutely nothing with what it's given. The album drags to a finish with the unimpressive "Amazedisgrace" and an extremely boring 8-minute drum solo, which was a total letdown because of how great Gartmann played on the first 6 tracks. In short, Wake Pig is a pretty diverse experience with some amazing tracks and some not-so-amazing tracks, although you should listen to every single note on here just to get the true scope of what 3 is about.

3.5/5.

Recommended Tracks:
Alien Angel
Where's Max
Wake Pig
Bramfatura
Trust*



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Comments:Add a Comment 
YoYoMancuso
September 22nd 2012



11020 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

the track listing on the original 2004 edition is as follows:
1. Alien Angel
2. Where's Max
3. Dregs
4. Wake Pig
5. Bramfatura
6. Trust
7. Dogs of War
8. Soul To Sell
9. Queen
10. Monster
11. Amazedisgrace

YoYoMancuso
September 22nd 2012



11020 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

anyway hope you guys enjoyed the review

bloc
September 22nd 2012



34773 Comments


I really liked the band's last album. Gotta check this out.

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

YoYoMancuso
September 22nd 2012



11020 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah their last album was great

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
September 22nd 2012



4410 Comments


You sent me a link to these guys and they were pretty decent. Review is really well-written, man POS'd.

Digging: Shabazz Palaces - Lese Majesty

YoYoMancuso
September 22nd 2012



11020 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

thanks Hernan

GiaNXGX
September 22nd 2012



4867 Comments


Their latest is awesome indeed. Great review man. 3 is so underrated :[

Chortles
September 22nd 2012



17944 Comments


great review, pos'd. i haven't heard anything from this band, definitely going to check them out now though

YoYoMancuso
September 22nd 2012



11020 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

thanks guys

cb123
September 22nd 2012



2006 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

probably their best work i think

SCREAMorphine
September 22nd 2012



1752 Comments


Great review, pos.

I remember hearing the track Wake Pig and trying to find a 3 album everywhere, no luck.

YoYoMancuso
September 22nd 2012



11020 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

http://www.filestube.com/3/3+wake+pig


here you go

SCREAMorphine
September 22nd 2012



1752 Comments


Nah I meant a few years ago when I actually used to buy my albums and couldn't find a copy. I have the digital copy now, thanks anyway :] good review

YoYoMancuso
September 22nd 2012



11020 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

ahaha ok my bad. thanks for the kind words

CaptainDooRight
September 23rd 2012



28832 Comments


Just heard wake pig and it was decent, kinda like alt-rock but solid rev bro pos

YoYoMancuso
September 23rd 2012



11020 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah decent's the best way to describe it, the first half of the album is seriously awesome though

thank you for the pos

YoYoMancuso
March 29th 2013



11020 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

sweet this review is flagged



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