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If you’re gonna call your band Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs (henceforth Pigs x7) as opposed to Pigs Pigs Pigs, or even Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, you’re gonna gain a reputation for excess right out of the gate. To a degree, the British quintet earns it with third LP Viscerals, by virtue of song titles (“Blood and Butter,” “Hell’s Teeth,” “Crazy in Blood”) and the gruesomely weird cover that embodies the album title. The music, however, displays a bit more control. With one hoof in the heavier end of the stoner rock pool a la Electric Wizard, and the other in the realm of postpunk headbangers like Killing Joke, the Newcastle upon Tyne outfit channels aggression into a tight-fisted series of disciplined explosions that are more punch than splatter. “New Body” rumbles like a dinosaur awoken early from hibernation, point man Matt Baly ranting and raving with the clarity of a recently released mental patient. “Reducer” slices off chunks of emotional flesh with devilish precision and an apocalyptic flair, while “Crazy in Blood” twists its anthemic melody into a wild-eyed grind. The record culminates in the nine-minute, 18-wheeler heavy “Halloween Bolson,” which alternates between dissonant tension, pounding release and some snarling boogie. Pigs x7 may truck in excess, but the band focuses it into a disciplined force that’s all the more effective for its steely control.
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