Review Summary: At its best, Kiss the Pig is an fun jam session chock full of great material, at it’s worst, it tries too hard to sound brutal and angry when its really just boring.
I remember reading somewhere once on how anger is sorta like the brain’s way of making a person feel better when they’re in a bad situation, or something like that. My memory of the subject is a bit fuzzy, but what I do remember is that basically when a person feels physical and/or psychological pain, the brain releases these hormones that not only makes a person angry, but helps numbs the pain. It actually makes a lot of sense when you think about it, like if some guy on the street calls you a dickhead, you’d get angry and respond with a curse of your own, and sometimes it feels kind of good to say something shitty towards someone who's wronged you.
Of course, I bring all of this up because today’s topic of discussion is Today Is the Day
, more specifically, their 2004 album Kiss the Pig
. Ever since their days of righteousness with their early releases with the legendary Amphetamine Reptile Records, Steve Austin always used Today Is the Day as an attempt to numb down his inner violent, hateful demons. Early albums such as Supernova
combined mathcore, noise rock, and thrash metal, resulting in spazzy and cathartic music that could, as Austin once described it, “make any redneck want to chop someone’s head off”. Later releases such as In the Eyes of God
introduced elements of grindcore to the band’s sound, creating quick violent outbursts of noise-metal that can please any living thing that has the ability to listen to music and get pissed.
The style of Kiss the Pig
almost feels like an attempt to bridge between the two styles together, with emphasis on the later noisecore period. For the most part, this album follows the formula of screamed vocals, bass-heavy guitar riffs, and blast beat-happy drum work, with the occasional tremolo picking here and there. Tracks like “Mother’s Ruin” and especially “This Machine Kills Fascists” are great harsh jams that shows off the band at their core: a great angry noise-rock-meets-heavy-metal jam band. “Don’t Tread On Hope” is a brief two minute exercise in expressing disdain for fellow man, the intro is spirit crushing, and the screeching of ”you’re a fucking imbecile”
reeks of pure hate. At times, however, the anger sounds forced, most notably on the shorter tracks of the album, such as on “Outland”, in which the same riff is repeated over and over again, taking breaks only for half-hearted, monotone yells. Speaking of vocals, they can be pretty hit-or-miss. On tracks like “Platinum Pussy”, Austin sounds like he has a cold and is trying to sing really high notes, while on tracks like “This Machine Kills Fascists” he legitimately gives a good performances, letting out powerful, vexed shouts.
When it comes to the production of the album, I have sorta a love/hate relationship with it. The guitars are muddy and bass-heavy, which is perfect for an album like this. The guitars are lo-fi in the sense that it reminds me of a band just hanging out in a basement, jamming out. The drums, on the other hand, sound poor, every crash of the cymbals sound like someone smacking a metal table with a rock.
While some of the anger sounds forced, and the drum tone could of been better, Kiss the Pig
still stands as one of the more solid albums within the massive discography of Today Is the Day. At its best, Kiss the Pig
is an fun jam session chock full of great material, at it’s worst, it tries too hard to sound brutal and angry when its really just boring. Thankfully however, the good far outweighs the bad.