If there’s one thing that the members of Newcastle based doomed out stoner rock unit Pigs x 7 (or Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs if you want to take a big Ace Ventura style breath and have a go) have a pedigree in, it’s producing unhealthy amounts of noise. Featuring current and former members of rumbling drone outfit Khünnt, their more porcine pursuits see them upping the tempo and doling out troughfuls of groove without losing any of their muscular tone.
Opener ‘GNT’ throbs with wavering synths before a low down, dirty bass run ushers in the song proper, building tension like something out of a retro spy thriller, peppered with wails of listing guitar. The rest of the instrumentation comes crashing in, a fog of wobbly synths thickening things out like consommé as guitars spiral off into bluesy licks. Matt Baty’s distant, throaty shouts add a mean edge to the swaggering, 18 wheeler grooves and razor edged guitar swing, things coming to a head with a lurching slide based riff before fading out into ringing feedback.
‘Shockmaster’ awkwardly ambles through buzzing harmonics before unfurling into something relaxed and syrupy, the far-reaching scope and vault dwelling vocals adding a frisson of the doomy, passing through an infectiously bouncy uplands before descending into a grinding riff that breaks itself apart. ‘A66’ hits the ground running with a driving main riff that has shades of Finnish mischief merchants Circle in its playful restlessness and busy bass. Shifting into a single buzzy guitar line, tentative drums edge back in before being buried under a lumbering, predatory stoner riff, heaving fit to burst with potential energy.
‘Thumbsucker’ jangles away, a processional fuzzed-out roller with a burly bass backbone cut near lean in half by jabbing atonality and a slap in the face false ending. ‘Cake Of Light’ stutter steps with call and response guitar noodling, laying it on thick with big fat chords and 70’s inspired licks, Baty’s echoing frustration running a gauntlet of beefy toms.
‘Gloamer’ flows like an easy river, conjuring images of late nights in smoky dive bars with its sultry smoothness, Baty’s in your face spoken word vocals at odds with his less tangible, further distant shouts, dropping in and out of a punchy main riff shot through with skittering, scratching guitar overlay, John-Michael Hedley’s bass throbbing like a pulse as things slow into a bloated, purposeful riff, breaking down into a crescendo of feedback and juddering noise.
While no mixdown in town could do full justice to the bands’ heaving live sound and visceral, threatening energies, ‘King Of Cowards’ does a solid job of committing their turgid grooves and deceptively stripped back riffsmanship to posterity. Fans of fuck off fat riffs will be as happy as a porker in the proverbial.