Sometimes it’s best to give a record time to sink in before offering your evaluation. It’s oh so easy to get overexcited upon release, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s raved about supposed album of the year contenders only to completely and utterly overlook them come December. This isn’t why it’s taken me so long to pen this waffle about the Pigsx7 full-length (a combination of work and bone-idleness are to blame there), but perhaps it’s for the best, since my snap review would, to say the least, have been a tad hysterical.
But then perhaps not, as nearly two months on my thoughts on Feed the Rats really haven’t altered that much. I’ve listened to it at least twice as much as any other LP released so far in 2017, and still I’m nowhere near bleeding the thing dry. Even now, as I type with it blaring in the background, the record sounds just as hard hitting, rip roaring and visceral as it did on that exhilarating first listen. Since then, I’ve used it to power through runs, to liven up bus journeys and even to calm nerves, namely through battering them into complete and utter submission. In short, it’s an adrenaline-fuelled romp the likes of which I’ve not enjoyed in some time, and one which proves that for all music’s grand, inventive designs, there’s still little that can hold a candle to a thunderous, balls-to-the-wall riff-fest.
This primal appeal might hint at an LP which lacks ambition, but the reality could hardly be more removed. Indeed, its modest 36-minute runtime looks rather different when you consider it consists of only three tracks, with two monster cuts sandwiching the comparatively bite-sized Sweet Relief. While the latter is a refreshing, relatively straightforward wrecking ball, it’s the bookends which provide the headlines, whether through their gargantuan length, relentless lung-busting energy or the sheer bloody-mindedness of their assault. There’s a momentary pause for breath at the outset of Icon, but that lasts barely 30 seconds before being snuffed out by the inevitable onslaught of sledgehammer riffs; a pummelling psychedelic maelstrom akin to Sabbath on steroids.
That’s more than a trivial likeness, as Feed the Rats is in essence a record which digs to metal’s very roots and winds up stretching them to and beyond their natural conclusion. The result of is an album for horn-bearers and chin-strokers alike; a thrilling behemoth which leaves scorched earth in its wake and announces Pigsx7 nationally and beyond as a force to be reckoned with.
Feed the Rats is available now.