Dec 2011 28

Wayne Static - PighammerWayne Static
Category: Industrial / Metal
Album: Pighammer
Stars: 3
Blurb: Perhaps suffering from sounding too much like the band he’s known for, Wayne Static’s debut solo effort is nonetheless a solid offering of pure industrial metal.


Given that industrial and metal music both employ dark and heavy sonic textures and subversive themes, it’s no surprise that there is a great deal of crossover. As more and more mainstream metal begins to utilize techniques commonly attributed to industrial such as programmed beats and synthesizer accompaniments, the line between the two genres is steadily becoming blurred. One of the primary figures responsible for this merging is Wayne Static. Best known as the mastermind behind “evil disco” band Static-X, as well as his unique hairstyle, Static’s combination of the guttural growls and caustic guitars of heavy metal with the ambient soundscapes and stuttering sequences of industrial have propelled him and his band to the heights of mainstream success while still being enjoyed by the occasionally less forgiving underground crowd. With the band on an indefinite hiatus, Static releases his debut solo record, Pighammer, unveiling an electrifying concept record that bears all of his signatures.

Upon listening to the album, some might question the validity of releasing Pighammer under his own name as a solo outlet. Indeed, from the first chugging riffs and hard-hitting groove of opening track “Around the Turn,” as well as the aggressive catchiness of the following “Assassins of Youth,” one might wonder if this was originally intended to be a Static-X record. Granted, Static was largely responsible for writing every song in the band’s oeuvre anyway, and it would be easy to write off the difference between Pighammer and any past album like Cannibal or Cult of Static being little more than the personnel involved as Static’s wife and muse Tera Wray contributes additional vocals while Static performs all instrumentation on his own. Again, all of the hallmarks of the man’s sound and style are present as gated synths and subtle arpeggios complement precision staccato guitar stabs on a song like “Thunder Invader,” or the way sustained guitars mesh with ambient pads on “Slave” or “Get It Together,” creating a sound that is as acerbic as it is haunting and lush. The same can be said for the transition from high energy thrash slowing to a trippy dance beat and foreboding atmosphere on “Chrome Nation,” with “The Creatures are Everywhere” being especially notable for the melding of distorted whispers and steely, melodic pianos with the gruff guitars. As stated, Tera Wray provides additional vocals, bringing an appropriately erotic flavor to such songs as the alluringly danceable “Static Killer,” while “Behind the Sky” is among Static’s most industrial outings, an instrumental of pulsating electro hip-hop beats and minor keyboard solos establishing a pulpy dreamlike closer.

With all of this in mind, what really does separate Static’s solo outing from Static-X besides the absence of other members like Tony Campos or Koichi Fukuda? Well… honestly in this writer’s opinion, not a hell of a whole lot, perhaps making Pighammer a subject for much criticism. And yet, none of this diminishes the pure vitriolic enjoyment this album offers, from its delightfully hammy (pun intended) lyrical and visual concept revolving around a mad surgeon who transforms beautiful women into pigs to its tight programming and production balancing trancelike electronics with scathing heavy metal mayhem as only Wayne Static can conjure up. Regardless of moniker, longtime fans of the man and his music should take a perverse and virulent joy in Pighammer, while newcomers may enjoy what is ultimately a very solid album of pure industrialized metal.
Track list:

  1. Pighammer
  2. Around the Turn
  3. Assassins of Youth
  4. Thunder Invader
  5. Static Killer
  6. She
  7. Get It Together
  8. Chrome Nation
  9. Shifter
  10. Slave
  11. The Creatures are Everywhere
  12. Behind the Sky

Wayne Static Website
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Dirthouse Records
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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