Release DetailsLABEL Metal Blade Records
RELEASED ON 11/5/2005
Wake Pig (Re-Release)
posted on 3/2006 By:
I was sort of hoping, maybe beyond hope, that I was reviewing an actual 3 cd - 3 being the Dischord band I was very into circa 1990 or so. I loved that band...shit I loved most Dischord recordings at that point. But 3 were one of my favorites. Most of the emo bands everyone thinks are so delightful these days rip off 3 witlessly. I kind of thought they had broken up or faded away. Still...hope springs eternal...
OK, so this band is not much like the 3 I am referring to, but they aren't much like anything else either. I am taken aback. That's not something that happens often. My very first review for MetalReview.com was a decidedly non metal recording, The Mars Volta's first record. This band shares a sensibility with that group, but make no mistake, whatever these guys are doing is their own.
And what are they doing? I have no fucking idea. This is a re-release, but I admit I never heard it the first time. It’s all new to me. I can't find any info that enlightens me about them, so I am flying blind, treating this like a brand new record. Feel free to lash in some relevant info if you have it and forgive my ignorance.
I would almost suggest this doesn't belong at a metal site, but I couldn't say for sure. The guitars are certainly heavy in their own way when they want to be. There are riffs. There are power chords and solos. But there is also some clean, artsy rock twanging to be found from time to time. The drummer is not shy and can fuck it up, but he can also kind of lay down a simple rhythm without apology. There are electronic samples and keys that fall well outside of what you normally find in metal. And the bassist is proggy, sometimes funky. But what really sets you on your fucking elbow is the vocalist: a singer with a girlishly high, poppy voice, decent range and tone and monster timing who doesn't seem to give a fuck about what we think - he is going to FUCKING SING, goddamnit. All are above reproach as technicians.
The songwriting actually takes advantage of the entire affair to become something that can be at once metallic, pop, prog and soulful. But it's not doing it the way Faith No More used to or even Mr. Bungle. They are closer, in fact, to classic Queen and maybe latter day Incubus. Queencubus? It's their own thing, whatever this is, which is the sensibility they share with The Mars Volta. And I can't say it's Metal, but I can't say I am not digging it either.
The recording of this strangeness is very clean and professional. You will hear every aspect of every song and every sound decision. You will never have to wonder what that noise is, so you can concentrate on trying to figure out what the whole record is.
Soooooo... you are probably wondering what the bottom line is going to be. So am I. I have a feeling I could listen to this 500 times and give you 500 answers to that question. Which, in a time of staid stylism in metal genres may be all the fucking recommendation an intelligent listener needs. This is a powerful and interesting record, whatever else it may be. My main thought is that the average metalhead may find the plainly tenor vocals, while technically strong, too much toward the pop end of the spectrum for their tastes. And they might also find some of the compositions a little too light and airy - sometimes almost... sit down, grab a beer, drink it one gulp and suppress the belch until after you read this next word… pretty. This is MetalReview.com, after all. We like bands to smash kittens and bleed puppies. What use PRETTY?! To that end I give you the ratings up above in the header.
Because I am also a music fan, and this music is deft, tight, catchy, experimental and intelligent, I give you the following ratings, not for the metalheads necessarily, but for the music fans in general… whatever has compelled them to come here and read reviews.
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