Pig destroyer: Book Burner
Relapse Records (2012)
I’m no Grindcore fiend by any means, but Pig Destroyer have always been different enough to appeal to a broader base of music nerds. When I saw them live back in 2007 there were kids in the crowd wearing Smiths t-shirts. At a fucking Grindcore show. Pig Destroyer have mentioned Bjork and Matthew Barney in their liner notes, and referenced the likes of William Burroughs and Bruce Springsteen in interviews. Despite looking like thugs, Pig Destroyer come from somewhere much more cerebral.
What Book Burner lacks in the bottom heavy production found on its ‘breakthrough’ predecessor Phantom Limb, it makes up for in dirty, grimy, puss infused, unwashed Hardcore infected Grind attitude. Personally I love Phantom Limb, it was such a leap forward in production and lyrical attitude, and while Book Burner harks back to the lo-fi storms of earlier releases (great records in themselves) it’s still slick as fuck and rips through 19 songs in 30 minutes.
New drummer Adam Jarvis syncs blast beats and rollicking double-kick rhythms with machine like precision while Scott Hull’s spastic, atonal but somehow groovy riffing cuts like a knife (how do they sound so heavy without a bass player?). Noise guy Blake Harrison supports the mayhem with rogue crunch, clatter and snippets of eerie conversation.
But it’s lead screamer JR Hayes and his death-chic lyrics that bring it all home. His voice is less distorted on Book Burner but he loses none of his intensity. Personally I love that he avoids the guttural voice farting so prevalent amongst Death Metal and Grindcore bands. His raspy, hardcore squawk is intense as fuck, especially once you’ve decoded his Brett Easton Ellis fucking Jim Thompson lyrical world. “I never saw that girl again, and it’s a shame. I just wanted to hold her, like an Anaconda.”
Grindcore might not be everyone’s cup of tea, and to be frank there’s little point preaching to the un-converted. People either ‘get it’ or they don’t. And yet, the slabs of guitar-noise produced by bands in this genre are often referenced by the noise mongers out there – John Weise, Merzbow, Lasse Marhaug have all mentioned Grind as an influence at one point or another. Pig Destroyer are at the top of heap – fans won’t be disappointed in Book Burner, and for the curious this is a good place to start.