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Sunday, December 9, 2007

Bay Of Pigs - Plastic Pig

Artist: Bay Of Pigs
Album: Plastic Pig
Year: 1987
Style: Dark Alternative, Gothic
Sounds Like: Cure, Butthole Surfers, Type-O Negative, KMFDM
"One-Word" Review: Depressed-Introspective-Grunge
Based Out Of: California
Label: Chameleon Records
Plastic Pig Cover Front & Side 1
Plastic Pig Cover Back & Side 2

Plastic Pig (1987)
1. Mary T More 2.17
2. Nude Man 3.09
3. Not Kansas 2.49
4. The Long Black Veil 3.46
5. X-Girlfriend 0.46
6. Addiction 2.56/
7. Plastic Pig (youtube video) 4.36
8. Desert 4.34
9. Whore 3.07
10. The Watchful Woman 1.56
11. Nothing Yet 2.06
12. Its All Over 2.01

Album Rating (1-10):
7.5

Members & Other Bands:
Fred Wilson
Colin Edwards (Tack)
Erin Havrilesky
Jim Reeder
Rick Cox
Stuart Schonwetter-Producer
Tarpit Music, bmi / Chameleon Records

Unknown-ness: I never heard of this band. With the black tone imagery of a plastic toy pig floating over a vast, small mooned sea-scape, combined with the date, I felt like this would be something dark, perhaps industrial. the small grainy image of the band and the small font info on the back also shows that the band is not interested in promoting themselves, so a depressed mood might be in store.

Album Review: When I first got this record with a slew of others, I made a compilation of one song from each record, hoping to get a feel of each band. I usually picked the shortest song, listening to it first to be sure it was something I could like, in order to fit the most bands on a CD. So I picked the first song on this record "Mary T More." This song is fun, quick paced, and somewhat upbeat. Unrepresentative of the majority of the rest of the album, this gave me the false impression that this album was more upbeat punk than depressed.

I've found out with many listens that there are many elements of track 1 on the rest of the album. You have the obvious "Santana-esque" guitar solos, and deep baritone vocals which carry on throughout the album. The upbeat pace can be seen in other songs like "Not Kansas," "Long Black Veil," and the instrumental "Whore." But most of the material is deep, dark, and sinister. The second song, "Nude Man," is more representative of this: a slow bass groove, odd sound effects coming and going, and a doom organ shifting in tone throughout the song creating continual dread. And the short instrumental X-Girlfriend, it is an eerie song-scape that feels like background music to the aftermath of a murder.

The fast and slow styles culminate into a beautiful blend in "Plastic Pig," which has the drive of a good punk song, but is executed in dark tones. It feels similar to KMFDM without mechanical industrial-ness. "Desert" is their ballad. A slower quieter number with incredibly brilliant reflections: "I don't want to live. I'm too smart" and "Oh God, what I really need is to die in a war." These two lines say more about the entire album's mood than I could ever describe.

The album winds down with the bag-pipe drummer marches of 'The Watchful Woman" and "It's All Over" which is also an instrumental. Both songs come and go very quickly, with New Order style bass lines. 'Woman' is more of a sea-shanty, while 'Over' is a bass-groove driven Irish pop song. Sandwiched between them is "Nothing Yet:" a quick song in length and pace. With lyrics twisted from standard American pledges and songs like "One nation under God, God damn you," it is a minimal yet spiteful telling of their American views.

There are many unique instruments and sounds used on the album at many different points. The bag pipes and the interpretation of the saxophone are just two touches of experimentalism that drive it out of any one definable genre. But these instrumentations brings a tremendous level of oddness to the sound that fits so very well. Overall, the album has a bouncing punk undertone while wearing a thick overcoat of sinister and gothic elements. I've really grown attatched to all these songs, as it gets better over repeat listens.

Stand Out Track:
Mary T More

Links:
Bay Of Pigs Allmusic
Blog site "Lost-In-Tyme" reviewing this album
Tack website
Tack Myspace

1 comment:

  1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXRTA9LAnUQ for the long black veil

    ReplyDelete