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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Pig Destroyer
Painter Of Dead Girls
Robotic Empire

Rating: 6/10 ?


October 1, 2004
A collection of hard-to-find early recordings, most of which appeared on lost splits with obscure underground-metal warhorses Gnob and Benumb, Painter Of Dead Girls finds Pig Destroyer at an awkward age. Before signing with Relapse Records in 2000, the Virginia grindcore gods laid down most of the 17 blistering tracks found here. Even then Pig Destroyer seemed acutely aware of the burgeoning power flowing through their amps. They just hadn't figured out how to harness it. To be fair, it would take a team of the country's best and brightest engineers decades to design a hydroelectric dam capable of controlling Pig Destroyer's fury.

"Task Master" is a dazzling display of mind-melting speed-metal guitar riffs oscillating wildly over adrenaline-fueled drumming, pulverizing bass and incoherent vocals that vomit vital organs. Even faster, "Black Centipede" breaks Hüsker Dü's Land Speed Record, screaming bloody murder over warp-speed drum and guitar cyclones. The suspension bridge that connects those two songs with "Immune To Life" would snap its cables under that track's heavy tonnage.

The pace to this release from the hardcore-metal patrons at Robotic Empire is inhuman, but there's little room for the band to flex its dynamic muscles. The first seven songs rush by in a heartbeat and are so densely packed with brutal, breakneck-speed riffs and punishing, rapid-fire drums, they can't breathe. Jaw-dropping musicianship aside, Painter Of Dead Girls is exhausting to listen to.

Enter "Blond Prostitute." Abandoning the play-fast-or-die hardcore ethos of Minor Threat, Pig Destroyer downshifts into chugging, Slayer-style tempo changes that alter the course of Painter Of Dead Girls. "Patterns Of Failure" and "Rejection Fetish" get caught in pits of rhythmic quicksand that can suck the listener down into a captivating stained-glass underworld of sound. The effect is mesmerizing and puts Pig Destroyer in a league with Isis. Predictably, Painter Of Dead Girls is full of violent imagery, like the unnerving murder confessions of "Patterns Of Failure" and "Blond Prostitute", where Pig Destroyer recounts how, "For a split second your eyes were lambs as my fingers slipped around your neck on the way to heaven." Pig Destroyer has more than revenge killings on its mind, though. In "Purity Undone", they find God but question the sincerity of their deathbed conversion. "Yet I gave in to divinity or perhaps just a sleight of hand/ But on the day the guilt fades away I will finally understand." Leaving the lyrics to others, the band also delivers crunchy cover versions of The Stooges' "Down In Streets" and Helmet's "In the Meantime" that will go over big with fans. Pig Destroyer knows what its constituency likes.

Here in the badlands of grindcore, even the most sadistic, evil creatures walk to the other side of the street when they see Pig Destroyer coming. The mother of all power trios, Pig Destroyer is as harrowing as a junkie's nightmare, or a serial killer's dreams, combining Unsane's hardcore barbarity with Napalm Death's tidal heavy metal riff-age. Look for the return of the Pig this summer, when the band releases its third full-length for Relapse. And if you can't get enough Pig Destroyer, Painter Of Dead Girls is a potent fix. But if you think your dealer ripped you off, don't come crying to me.

Reviewed by Peter Lindblad
Peter Lindblad lives in Appleton, Wis., and bleeds green and gold just like all the Packer fan nutjobs in the area. He does draw the line at wearing blocks of chedder on his head, or any other body parts for that matter, though. His professional career has taken weird twists and turns that have led him to his current position as an editor at a coin magazine. He hopes his stay there will be a short one. Before that, he worked as an associate editor at a log home magazine. To anyone that will listen, he\'ll swear that Shiner was one of the greatest rock bands to ever walk the earth. Yet he also has much love for Superchunk, Spoon, DJ Shadow, Swervedriver, Wilco, Fugazi, Jawbox, ... And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, Queens Of The Stone Age, and Modest Mouse, among others.

See other reviews by Peter Lindblad

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