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Imagine going to a Primus concert and being in utter anticipation, expecting an amazing combination of technical prowess and oddity rich songwriting. Then imagine being in an audience of about 10,000 people, all cheering like crazy as the avant-garde extraordinaire outfit takes the stage. Once you’ve pictured this, image the band proceeding to play the first 30 seconds of every song on the set list, culminating in a concert of roughly 16 minutes in length, and mostly consisting of impressive yet singular parts. Then conclude the daydream with everyone in the audience cheering like crazy and talking on and on after the show about how their concert experience was money well spent, while you walk to your car wondering what the hell you just witnessed.
What you’ve just pictured is basically a slight dramatization of my experience listening to Pig Destroyer’s debut album “Explosions in Ward 6”. I’ll admit that I’m not an expert in the realm of all things grindcore, but I’ve come to expect at least 4 or 5 songs to break the 2 minute mark in an album, and most of the punk, grindcore, and crossover albums I’ve heard at least attempt to develop some of their ideas. The reviews I read on this album basically stated something to the effect that this was a brave new approach to extreme music, pushing the boundaries of what we know as songwriting. While this is definitely the case, I’m not one to marvel at the sight of a man photographing his friend lighting up elephant farts with a Zippo and calling it amazing art simply because no one in the photography field thought of it before him.
To be fair to the band, they definitely have technical ability, and it shows on most of the shorter material on here. Quickies like “Deflower”, “Tentacle”, “Three Second Apocalypse” and “Honeymoon” all have pretty wicked riff work in them and no shortage of well executed blast beats, but you find yourself wishing you heard those riffs more than 4 times without the need of hitting the back button. Perhaps part of the issue can be explained by their one long song “Pixie”, which essentially exposes the band’s general tendency to dwell on something too long when given the opportunity and utter inability to develop a good idea beyond repetition or complete changeup. I should mention also that the best song on here is the Melvins cover, which demonstrates the ideal amount of development and time length for music of this nature. If I was in this band and I had all of these good ideas fragmented all over the place, I’d try sticking to around the minute and a half to 2 minute mark in terms of individual song length, which is where most grindcore bands I’ve heard seem to hang out.
People who are inclined towards the grindcore style are probably better off looking into either “Prowler in the Yard” or “Terrifier” when it comes to these guys, both of which seem to stretch out the short and singular ideas that these guys seem to produce in excess to a better degree. It may be fast, it may be vicious as hell, but damn it, I require all bands in all genres to put forwards something I can somewhat remember after the music stops, particularly something that you’ve written yourself.