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Pig Destroyer – Pornographers of Sound: Live in NYC Award winner

Pig Destroyer
Pornographers of Sound: Live in NYC
by Paul LaPlaca at 26 July 2021, 12:03 PM

Legendary grindcore masters, PIG DESTROYER present a blistering live album, “Pornographers of Sound: Live in NYC” recorded at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn on two concurrent dates in October 2019. It features 23 tracks spanning their massive discography featuring classics and deep cuts. Full disclaimer here, I am not well versed in all the sub-genre’s of metal and this style is not what I normally listen to. So rather than a knowledgeable look at the band’s studio work versus this live version, this is a first impression of a progmetal head hearing this band for the first name.

I was definitely looking forward to this assignment  as I’ve been aware of the band for years but never had the opportunity to see or hear them. For the uninitiated, grindcore is defined as, “an extreme fusion genre of heavy metal and hardcore punk.” Well, what’s not to like, right? Looking at the track list, all songs come in at an average of under 2 minutes, the shortest being :36. Short and sweet it is. I have a deep appreciation for THE RAMONES and SOD so this is familiar territory.

First track is, “Sis” and goes right for the jugular with a machine-gun blast of a drum beat and an unhinged, almost hysterical vocal delivery from J.R. Hays.  Immediately, their reputation as being one of the best of the genre is unmistakably well-deserved. The band is noose-tight, never missing a slam-the-brakes-on harsh stop before launching back into the rapid fire assault. “The American’s Head” is more of the same, adding more grooving elements to the riffs. “Eve” slows things down slightly with a foreboding intro before again launching into blast beat insanity but then, at :48 they launch into an infectious groove worthy of PANTERA, that is over far too quickly. All 3 songs are just about a minute and a half long.

I cringe at the sound of most live recordings because they are straight from the mixing board without any reverb or room mics so they sound artificial and tight with no room to breathe. While this album has that slightly claustrophobic feel and I would prefer to hear just a bit more of the room here, it is extremely well-done and sounds amazing. The 6th track, “Thumbsucker” starts off with a galloping, trotting guitar rhythm that grooves so fucking hard it’s ridiculous. This is juxtaposed with dissonant guitar chord stabs. Peppered throughout this song and the rest of the album are disturbing and haunting sound effects, vocal pads and other noise provided by Blake Harrison that gives the band so much texture and ambiance. It’s really brilliant.

“Concrete Beast” has kind of a stoner, sludge vibe, dark and heavy, mid-tempo riffs and a rolling, growling bass. More head-nodding than head-banging and it definitely stands out against the other material as a dynamic break from the more aggressive speed of the opening tracks. “Deathtripper” balances a slow grind, middle section with a fierce, unrelenting blast and shrieking guitar squeals. “Jennifer” is a strange and wonderful spoken word piece provided by slightly robotic and unemotional voice describing a an unusual, public,  erotic scene that culminates with an onlooker remarking (and the crowd enthusiastically shouts out) “No, this is beautiful. THIS IS ART!”

I can’t think of a more fitting description of this album. The band is on fire and it’s almost impossible to believe this was done live. It is flawless in it’s execution and delivery, the songs are rich in texture and dynamics, and the production is rock-solid. Highly recommend this.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1.Sys
2.The American’s Head
3. Eve
4. Loathsome
5. Scarlet Hourglass
6. Thumbsucker
7. The Gentleman
8. Sourheart
9. Concrete Beast
10. Rotten Yellow
11. Deathtripper
12. Circle River
13. Totaled
14. Crippled Horses
15. Gravedancer
16. The Machete Twins
17. Jennifer
18. Cheerleader Corpses
19. Scatology Homework
20. Trojan Whore
21. Piss Angel
22. Starbelly
23. Junkyard God
Lineup:
J.R. Hayes – Vocals
Scott Hull – Guitar
Blake Harrison – Electronics
Travis Stone – Bass
Adam Jarvis – Drums
Record Label: Relapse Records
     


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