A long time ago there was this really great fuzzed-out garage band in Providence called Black Clouds. Black Clouds was an awesome experiment in rock minimalism: two guitars and a drummer who yelled things into a microphone. it offered up a great big wall of crunch and their shows were either epic disasters or crazy good parties. Black Clouds’ drummer/yeller Matt Trap thought there was way too much superfluous instrumentation going on with that outfit, so he pared the model down to just him and a tiny blue-eyed stick of dynamite named Chris Annunziato. They call themselves Party Pigs.
Party Pigs has been making quite a name for themselves, playing every hipster basement in Providence. Most recently they packed the Speakeasy at Local 121 for a very special gig called “Born Pig,” which featured superheated sets of their dirty, filthy garage punk wedged between DJ sets of dirty, filthy hip hop from Born Casual. Though vastly different aesthetically, the music blended seamlessly. “We have a mixed crowd of people that like us a lot, and then some feel bad for us, and then some just plain hate us.”
The pair sent me a clutch of material from some recent sessions at Pawtucket recording studio Machines With Magnets. Most tracks were unnamed, the ones with names were called “F--n’ Party” and “It’s Alright.” Their song that my iTunes is calling “track 02” starts out innocently enough, a great sleazy chugging riff and some nicely growled words from Annunziato about a “diamond in a rock... something something (garbled) set you free,” who cares really, because soon enough the drums annihilate anything resembling a nice pleasant groove while blasting the song into the kind of mental garage rock territory that Matt Trap perfected with the Black Clouds.
The aforementioned “F--n’ Party” is their Stoogiest of the lot. The opening salvo rings a lot like “Shake Appeal,” which, being one of my personal Stooges favorites, I can find nothing wrong with. But it’s “track 06,” with its curiously sunny California rock riff and galloping drums, that’s an odd standout here. It shows a sense of dynamic within the Pigs that may just catch a few people off guard. But then again, there are no lyrics on this track.
“It’s Alright,” which features some excellently barked vocals from Tinsel Teeth’s Wil Sneep, finds the band falling ass-backwards right into one of its very best songs. It’s a blistering firecracker of a track that’s tight and extremely catchy. It has generous amounts of grungy riffage, caveman blues licks and enough vocal yelling to stay interesting throughout. It’s also kind of pretty, in a way.
Trap sums up the Party Pig experience thusly; “We’re a band you go to see if you wanna party. Nothing about us is all that serious, that s--t bums me out. Rock n’ roll is fun.”
Party Pigs have a second “Born Pig” crossover event at Dusk on January 25. Bring your parents - you’ve been meaning to do something nice for them.