Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

White Pigs ~ Songs Of Sin

(No official website.)
Style: thrash, speed, heavy metal, black metal
Label: Songs Of Sin
Year: 1985
Home: n/a (disbanded)

Members: Brian Ripthroat ~ vocals
Keith Grave ~ bass
Steve Bertrand ~ guitar
Peter Clarke ~ drums

Those who have a passion for digging up bands from the deep vaults of the music world ... or where demo cassettes go to die ... might be familiar with WP whose thrash cover of the "Munsters Theme" from their only full length release pulls them up from the heap a couple inches. It's certainly an incentive to check out WP when coming across them, as it was for me, but this one track should not be the deciding factor to spend 30 minutes with WP ... but certainly a minute & a half distorted guitar driven riff on the "Munsters Theme" is a fun listen ... even if it would sound better on a retro surf record & has by numerous surf bands. It's ironic that it's that these little tracks that are meant to be a highlight often end up being a throwaway in comparison to what bookends them. With a few demo recordings, some split albums, a couple reissues, songs appearing on some compilations & this sole full-length as the sole offering of WP the band often gets credited by unofficial underground rock historians as a punk band, but there's far more whammy bar thrash/speed metal & Satanic lyrics here than punk influence ... plus there's the very un-punk song "Heavy Metal". But, then, punk tends to be a hoisted on any band that's got low production values & a growl ... though in 1985 it was also probably the label that got more respect as thrash/black metal were still primal & influencing within but not outside the hard rock community. Though, between WP's formation in 1980 that included a single performance, a reformation two years later by the bassist & the release of Songs Of Sin they'd already had three distinct line-ups so at one point the band might have been more punk than metal. But, guitarist number three Steve Bertrand is undoubtedly more influenced by Van Halen than the Ramones. Rock historians also like to talk about WP's humor, as evidenced in the band's racially sounding name which is actually a teasing nickname of a neighborhood dog & continued through playful thrash & death metal workouts. If Songs Of Sin is making fun of thrash & black metal its doing so in a Spinal Tap or perhaps Anvil sort of way ... just remember no matter how comical Spinal Tap might be the guys are pro musicians who know how to rock & what makes them comical is not the music but how over the top, & accurate, they get in their imitation. Yes, the growling vocal style of Brian Ripthroat is undoubtedly drawn from black metal, though its more akin to Jon Oliva of Savatage at times, while it may not have the bite or anger of true black metal, or even punk for that matter, thus ends up sounding more comical than serious. But, on the other hand, WP is far more listenable than stereotypical early 80's black metal gutteral growls & unmelodic untechnical guitar blasts. So, if it's a joke it's only because they're trying to hard to sound authentic & might be trying too hard. You can image a young Bertrand running riffs in his bedroom, listening to Vai or Yngwie & working hard to master some finger run that doesn't sound as difficult as it looks and then handing this album out to his friends so they can witness the next big guitarist. Following this release bassist Keith Grave, the only member from the original 1980 line-up, was dismissed from his own band. With a new bassist, line-up number four, they'd make some new recordings for an EP before calling it a day in 1988 & fading into obscurity. As it was, by then the days of this type of underground metal were coming to an end. Rest in peace ye songs of sin.



2 comments:

  1. WALKEN says- White Pigs Rule! RRRrRrrrrrrRRRRrrrr

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, man. They could have been the next Megadeth!

    ReplyDelete