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Punk/Power Pop

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Throttlerod | Pig Charmer | review | rock | Lollipop


Pig Charmer (Small Stone)
By Craig Regala

Wow…I didn't really see this coming. I thought I had a handle on these guys, guess I wasn't dialed in. It's a good one, but shit, I musta been standing in a puddle of duh over here. Well, only knee deep. Maybe head down though. Previously, I took these guys to be a rough-cut kick-ass suvvern vs. biker-punk unit; like Zeke's suckerpunch mid-tempo setting running through Blackfoot and Nashville Pussy tunes. Herein I find'm to be beholden to the rubbery overdrive David Sardy pushed through his own unit, Barkmarket, and various ‘90s production work with Quicksand, Orange 9 MM, and Cop Shoot Cop. Bump that into cool stuff like Fugazi, The Method, Below The Sound, and The Evil Queens and ya got the stuff Throttlerod grease down with those "Southernish" roots.

I went back and listened up and their "this" and "that" really isn't that far apart. Seeing as I haven't heard the middle record, this may be kinda obvious, but both ends can be traced back to the Stooges wild-ass overdriven carve-up of John Lee Hooker's malevolent ‘50s stomp and holler. So on Pig Charmer, they keep the tuneful grit of Hell And High Water's Southern-punk fuel; and blow it through the mile-wide Sardy throb while waddling around in boxers with one leg labeled "Touch and Go"* and the other "Amphetamine Reptile." (Two great labels with bands that've bent many a mind and twisted many a stage when Obama was in law school. I didn't see him at any shows.)

Look, there's no bullshit here. The songs are trim and powerful and have enough clear no-bullshit live as fuck off-kilter slant to catch your ear and get many a head doing that drugged head bang sway you see at Melvins' shows. My pick to click: "Hum." It's got melodic vocal and riff hooks piled into an anthemic tune that should do for these guys what Helmet's "Unsung" did for them. Load'm with the stuff mentioned above, rounded out with Hackman, Unsane, 50 Tons of Black Terror, The Beasts of Bourbon, and Killdozer.


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