Pigface CD review

by Vittorio Carli

Pigface is an arty and adventurous rock band that is based in Chicago.

They recently released an eclectic new CD, "Easy Listening..." and played a sold out Easter show at the Metro with My Life in the Thrill Kill Kult, Bile, and Bozo Porn Circus.

The group's performances often attract a fair amount of fans in Goth apparel or bondage gear.

Pigface often blurs the lines between musical genres. Many of their danceable numbers are influenced by industrial and dub music.

The new Pigface recording "Easy Listening..." combines industrial, dance, spoken word, disco, pop-rock, hip-hop, bubblegum, metal and punk into a tasty musical stew. Not all of it goes down well, but on the whole it's quite filling.


It features an all-star cast of underground musicians, many of which are associated with the Underground Inc. record labels. The CD features imaginative and unexpected combinations of sounds and musicians.



"Lacey Conner of Pigface and Nocturne with Vito. Photo by Oona Burke , 2003"

The lineup includes Keith Levene (of The Clash and Public Image Ltd.), Lacey Conner (from Nocturne), Chris Connelly (of RevCo, Fini Tribe, and Damage Manuel), Michelle Walters (of VooDou), Curse Mackey (of the Grim Faeries), Groovie Mann (of My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult), and En Esch (of KMFD).

The only constant is the group's leader, Martin Atkins who drums, produces and scratches, but even he is absent from a few tracks.

Atkins has been in many of the most important "death disco," and industrial bands such as Public Image Ltd., Ministry, Killing Joke, Nine Inch Nails. He also plays in the hard-edged industrial supergroup, Damage Manual.

The CD starts out with a strong cover of a Delta 5 song, "Mind Your Own Business." The Kittie alumnus, Fallon Bowman, seductively croons: "Can I have a taste of your ice cream / Can I lick the crumbs from your table" over a catchy techno dance beat.

Seconds later, the tone of the song changes. She angrily lashes out at the listener for interfering in her crisis, and she tells him/her to "mind your own business." The song perfectly captures the attraction/repulsion or love/hate component that is an integral part of many romantic relationships.

"Closer to Heaven" benefits from Rahul Sharma's alluring and exotic sitar playing. The trance inducing sound of the instrument echoes the spiritual lyrics, which talk about a love affair that gives the narrator a Nirvana-like feeling of bliss. The song is like the best world music because it transports the listener to a far away place.

The CD also includes "Binary Stream," an impressive spoken word piece by Jared Louche. Its rhythmic language, antiestablishment sentiments, and stream of consciousness lyrics make it reminiscent of the best work of the beat (not beatnik) writers, Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs.

"Easy Listening" does include at least one obvious clunker. Atkins rants unconvincingly at a long list of dislikes in "The Horse You Rode in On."

Fans suggested the song's moronic lyrics, which are accompanied by a completely undistinguished sound. It's obviously filler material. Songs like this give mindless rebellion a bad name.

Cut for cut, "Easy Listening" is not as consistently exciting as "The Best of Pigface: Preaching to the Perverted," or "Notes from Thee Underground." But it is still a worthy addition to the Pigface catalog. It is available for sale at local record stores or it can be ordered from the Invisible Records website at www.invisablerecords.com.

Distributed by Invisible Records

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