Seriously magnetic and enjoyable from its first breath, the debut album from US metallers PigWeed nevertheless took its time to truly inflame our senses and when it did it had them burning with a lustful appetite. The Weight is almost like an album of two halves, the first richly satisfying but searching for that spark to ignite personal passions the second finding it and them persistently tapping in to its incendiary attributes. That though is definitely an individual thing as the band’s multi-flavoured ferocious blaze of sound is more than likely to put them on the broadest metal maps.
South Texas hailing PigWeed was formed in 2009 by guitarist/vocalist Mauricio Ortega and subsequently found its current line-up over time with the addition of vocalists David Magallanez and Fresh Rodriguez, bassist Justin Ervine, drummer Thomas Villarreal, and guitarist Danny Young. Swiftly and potently establishing themselves on their local scene, the San Antonio outfit has shared stages with a host of major metal and rock artists. Inspired by the likes of Korn, Deftones, Metallica, Tool, Staind, and Slipknot the band’s sound embraces various flavours of metal with punk, hardcore and progressive hues adding their company in a proposition seemingly familiar at times but wholly individual.
The Weight is a stirring introduction to the world of a band which has earned their dues over the past decade through hard work and creative adventure. It opens up with Eye of the Wasp and a rallying lure of beats and guitar which is quickly escalated by the Justas thick incitement of bass and second guitar. Riffs and citric tendrils are soon entangling ears, their bait leading to the grouchy heart and touch of the encounter. We cannot tell you whether it is David or Fresh providing the raw and melodic vocals or vice versa, but the gruff attack here sets the tone as much as the sounds before those calmer tones increase the enticement. It is an irritable, ear grabbing start to the album which maybe did not have us greedy but certainly wanting to hear plenty more.
Check Yourself is the first to provide, the song dancing in ears with grooves and invasive rhythmic coaxing before its melodic croon colludes with a Stuck Mojo styled trespass cloaked in groove metal dexterity. The band’s enterprising twists and turns continue to firmly entice and please before Fake For Now nags the senses with its grooved rapacity and rap nurtured vocals with Time Is Now straight after baiting ears with its own web of grooves, riffs, and biting rhythms as melodies entwine their temptation. The latter two both tease a lustier attention like offering the prelude of things to come which Needles only adds to with its tenacious endeavours.
It is from The Putrid though that our passions were truly ignited, the track a ravenous slab of predatory metal with an insistently addictive chorus within a persistently explosive surge of metal and heavy rock bred adventure. It is glorious stuff which where the previous tracks had the body reacting with contentment had it and vocal chords violently bouncing.
The spark we were unknowingly looking for was burning fiercely and just as potent within the following bruising rock ‘n’ roll of The End. With its predecessor, they set the pinnacle of the album whilst hitting our sweet spot dead centre; the first almost carnivorous in its swing whilst the second is a virulent roar cast from a tapestry of varied flavours and creative tenacity.
Ascending emerges from a dustily spicy blues rock air next, spiralling in its sultry suggestive grunge/melodic rock climate as vocals coax and seduce. Volatility lines the relative calm as more invasive sounds blossom in the inviting drama, those vocals especially magnetic in its emotive reflection and a brewing tempest which never really takes hold until late on. More of a slow burner than the previous pair, it reveals more of the adventurous potential of band and sound as it increasingly impresses whereas Mistakes shoves that promise and existing strengths through ears with boisterous intent. A fiercely infectious roar of metal, rock, and punk ‘n’ roll, the track is quite superb and just one more reason to eagerly keep Pigweed on the radar.
Before a certainly happy to receive Revisited version of the last track to complete The Weight, the album offers up the epic and mercurial journey across the emotionally and sonically tempestuous Suffer. Though arguably maybe a touch overlong with its final three minutes of storm stretching attention, there is no denying every second was a magnetic and fascinating proposal much as the album itself.
The Weight is a striking first look at PigWeed and the start of a keen and maybe lustful friendship between ears and creativity especially if its second half is the sign of things to come.
The Weight is out now via Pavement Entertainment across most stores
Pete RingMaster 14/03/2018
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