Pig Destroyer – “Pornographers of Sound: Live in NYC” (Relapse)
Battle Helm Rating
For a band famed for their live performances, I haveta say that this came as a surprise in being Pig Destroyer’s first live release. This US grindcore band, who are as much influenced by Slayer and The Melvins as they are by Brutal Truth, have issued 5 prior studio albums and countless EPs, split releases and compilations since they were formed in 1997. They say you can’t make up for lost time, but “Pornographers of Sound: Live in NYC” certainly goes a long way in doing so, featuring 23 tracks spanning their entire discography as recorded across two dates at Brooklyn’s Saint Vitus Bar back in October 2019. Led by the uglier than thou bark blast roars of J.R. Hayes and Scott Hull’s cheese grater guitars, the rest of band follow suite in levelling the equally boisterous crowd with their sonic decimation, although it’s by no means a ceaseless noise trip as some truly impressive power grooves mix with catchy thrash hooks and nihilistic punk licks across alternating tempos in a tight performance topped off by some slick electronica to show why this band are such an international name. As the punk chundering begins on ‘Loathsome’, Adam Jarvis’ double bass drumming and snare beats add to the ominous tone from Hull’s dirty guitar and new bassist Travis Stone’s heavy ass bass, grinding and grooving to get those fists air punching with tons of headbanging moments that both delight live while offering equal audio pleasure. With an absolutely skanking punk groove, ‘The Machete Twins’ drives and slams through Hull’s raw riffing in unison with Jarvis’ double bass speed, and as the number rips ‘n’ roars, the nihilistic twists add to the insanity of Hayes’ punk as f–k vocals and throat raw screamo – brilliant! Thanking the crowd for its resilience, the grindcore kickbeat on ‘Starbelly’ is nothing short of immense as the entire band lay into the audience before allowing the terror of their assault soak in as Hull’s warbling guitar sludges its way across the floor like death itself before picking up the speed to groove it up again, although this personal favourite of mine never ceases to crush throughout. Indeed, you’d be hard pressed to feel like yourself after such an intense performance from the possessive power of the mighty Pig Destroyer!