It’s been just about two years since I last wrote you. Back then, I was trying to smack you a bit for releasing records too fast, trying to rake in some easy revenue and not paying enough attention to the content of the stuff you were making… sounds kind of funny, looked back at from 2013. You’ve released 15 albums to date this year, each one of those as a $25 “limited edition”. In spite of the limited turnover of each of those discs, you’re probably made an easy $150.000 this year so far.
Whilst you deserve some begrudging kudos for putting out almost 8 hours of music in a single year, the music itself is hitting new lows as you manage to find further corners to cut to bang these things out even quicker. One of your most recent releases, Slug Cartilage (Pike 24), managed to get me worked up enough to write you again.
For you see, Slug Cartilage could have been a great album if you paid the slightest bit of attention while making it. In an attempt to mask just how little of a damn you give while making these things, you slightly warp the style for each one of these 30-minute duds. This time around, you’re incorporating extreme, hostile dissonance, the likes of which you haven’t been remotely close to since Island of Lost Minds. Had you actually cared whilst making this album, it could have been an amazing addition to your discography. But, as it’s just another Pike, you decide that some mind-numbing chord shapes are sufficient and you buffer the disc with crap by switching on the riff autopilot again. As I listen to you churn out yet another batch of power chord riffs, I wonder whether you even remember them after you hit the stop button.
You can’t be assed to make the tracks be proper tracks anymore. You already spent more than the Pike’s share of creativity on the dissonant chords, so you feel like you can get away with randomly pasting together whatever you feel like into a song. No, having extreme stop-start dynamics and long pauses doesn’t make this record avant-garde and bizarre, it makes it extremely lazy and bad. There have been times in the past where you could pull transitions like those off, but this time around it feels like you’re actively trying to minimise effort exerted to finish the Pike.
In fact, you can’t even be assed to properly make the stuff you’re making. I’m no recording purist, I don’t pay too much attention to every last nuance of tone, performance and production, but you’ve got to draw the line somewhere. That line is very, very far from stuff that’s happening on Slug Cartilage. Take the ingeniously titled “Previous Plate”, around 1:35 in. The song veers into another one of those totally breath-taking riffs that I’m completely sure you still remember. The take you got was just too perfect to bother to do it again, and who’d pay attention to such a teeny detail as the actual length and rendition of the recording. It’s just a smidgen too short in comparison to the bars it’s supposed to be filling. Well, who cares? You’ll just take it and copy paste it a whole bunch, letting that idiotic skip stay in place. Nobody will notice, as you’ll just flood your fan base with more $25 “limited editions” so that they’ll only listen to this a handful of times before moving on to a new album. Mind you, this happens multiple times during the course of this album, as paying attention to where notes you recorded start and end is apparently not worth your effort. This is just most jarring, as it repeats the same abrasive skip time and time again, like fingernails on a blackboard. You made people pay $25 for this.
I could go on. There’s plenty more to be mad at, including artificially extending song lengths by having the same petite musical idea bounce between (horribly copy pasted) clean and distorted renditions for far too long. You’re perfectly justified, man. 30 minutes is such a long time to fill with music, it’s a miracle you managed to finish this disc before succumbing to old age. However, I guess you’re a lost cause. Not without reason – you’ve still got a group of devoted followers who lap this crap up as soon as you put it out. I actually made the mistake of paying for the download of this abomination, as you’re offering digital editions of albums now. I regret that decision and I’ll be wiser in the future.