May 2024 31

Album CoverPIG
Album: Red Room
Category: Industrial / Rock
Label: Metropolis Records
Release Date: 2024-05-17
Author: Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)


The Mighty Swine giveth, and our cup runneth over as Raymond Watts continues to herald the hordes to his unholy altar. The last decade has been a prolific period for PIG, one that has seen the band wrangling old and new members alike; all the while, Watts remains the head hog, cultivating a tightly orchestrated and bombastic style of industrial/rock that has remained fairly consistent over the past couple of decades. Whereas the previous album, 2022’s The Merciless Light, was more rock-oriented and sparser on the more extravagant elements of PIG’s sound, Red Room assertively struts in with some excellent production flourishes that hearken even further back to some of the band’s formative years.

From the onset of the persistent and caustic bass tone on “Crumbs, Chaos, & Lies,” memories of Sinsation are sure to abound, the riffs and grinding synths moving with fervor and fury, the piano and organ later adding a touch of lounge flavor. Watts’ vocals are as sneering and sinister as ever, while 3TEETH’s Alexis Mincolla provides some backing that blends in so well that it’s rather difficult to place him. Now a fully fledged denizen of the pigsty, Jim Davies seems much more confident and secure in his role as Watts’ right hand man, his programming and guitar tones exhibiting the exploratory vibrancy he became known for in Pitchshifter. This is especially so in the slow and insidious title track, its doomy chorus riff standing out as one of the album’s highlights, as well as the danceable sequences and gyrating hip-thrusting EBDSM grooves of “Slave to Pleasure,” and the concluding “False Flag,” in which squelching synth and guitar effects and a grimy bass tone make for a funky backing to an irresistible chorus of “I’ve got myself to blame, I’ve got to blame…” The same can be said for “Dum Dum Bullet,” as the vocoder and guitar effects strike like a machine that’s just achieved sentience, the lyrical juxtapositions of sexual, religious, and political innuendos along with the PIG choir providing that robust processional feel that recalls “The Fountain of Miracles.” Other songs like “Trash Temple” and “Dirty Mercy” also deliver some amply muscular rockers, the latter seeing the return of longtime associate Günter Schulz slinging his six strings masterfully; add in Michelle Martinez’s soulful vocals, and the song is destined to become another classic.

As the only track on Red Room credited solely to Watts, the bopping and bouncy “Six Eye Sand Spider” stands out for its prickly rhythms, while “Body Count” sees Raymond singing as if to lull us into his clutches, vacillating between a croaking whisper and a lithe, dreamier tone. Mike Watts returns on this song to infuse his trademark piano playing atop the rolling tribal rhythms and cavernous programming, as Enrico Tomasso’s trumpet adds to the seductive noir ambience of “PIG is at the Window.” The funky “Does it Hurt Yet?’ slithers in with a pace and tone that feels closer to the earlier Praise the Lard era, the odd vocal distortions emphasizing lines like “I’m the insect you inject,” while Chris Hall’s higher register adds dramatically to the chorus of “The Sick Man’s Prayer,” playing well with Watt’s baritone, and making what could’ve easily been a forgettable by-the-numbers PIG song into one of the album’s finest moments.

After so many years, PIG still demonstrates a vitality and exuberance on Red Room that many would be envious of. It’s difficult to find fault in the band’s adherence to those elements that have been at its core since the early ‘90s when they are executed so cleanly and vigorously, adding just enough of a modern polish to keep it as fresh as if it were vacuum sealed. At a tight 50 minutes, one almost wishes the record would last longer, but it’s perhaps fortunate that it doesn’t, lest we succumb irrevocably to its dark and saccharine embrace. All in all, Red Room is another solid effort from the Lord of Lard, and that’s just the way we like it.
Track list:

  1. Crumbs, Chaos, & Lies
  2. Red Room
  3. Dum Dum Bullet
  4. Does it Hurt Yet?
  5. Trash Temple
  6. Slave to Pleasure
  7. The Sick Man’s Prayer
  8. Six Eye Sand Spider
  9. Dirty Mercy
  10. PIG is at the Window
  11. Body Count
  12. False Flag

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Metropolis Records
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