Review: Legion of Swine – Pig for Victory! (self-released, Sep 12)

Peerless prodigy that I am, I can make some pretty convincing pig noises, snorts and whines and such, an obviously indispensable skill that has taught me exactly one thing: a lot of people hate pig noises. The wet, sloppy grunts of those plump creatures seem to be inexorably attached to thoughts and feelings of uncleanness, pestilence, and rot, unsettling many for reasons they may not fully understand, or even want to understand. No swine song makes it onto Swedish artist Legion of Swine’s Pig for Victory!, for which the album cover completes a hog-tastic trifecta, but I have a sneaking suspicion that those not partial to the chatter of pigs may have the same attitude toward the sounds that actually comprise the release: loud, unrelenting, piercing, painful feedback tones created using “[a] contact mic, a metal pedal, a reverb/delay pedal and the ‘noise hedgehog’.” It’s quite the arsenal for an album as minimally dynamic as Pig for Victory!, whose four tracks largely remain stagnant with constant, seamless screech or contorting squall while way down below in the murk hardly intelligible reverberations and detritus occasionally drift close to the surface. As the title of “You Voted for This Set of Bastards, Now Take Your Medicine,” the first track on the release that offers any sort of respite from the assaults of punishing frequencies, makes clear, many of Legion of Swine’s creative motivations are political. With that knowledge, Pig for Victory! becomes something masochistic in a way, perhaps penance for all of us, because we have all failed our fellow humans at some point. Time to take your medicine.