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White Pigs on Dope

There’s something to be said for the first few Corrosion of Conformity releases. And really, early Metallica wasn’t to awfully either. That doesn’t mean, it needs to be endlessly revisited, but you know. About the time as both of those acts were working in weird combinations of punk influenced metal and hardcore, there were scores of other crews wrangling the same base instincts, but rarely culminating in the same sort of success. That being said White Pigs have their moments even as the band’s available recordings are mixed and matched from various parts of its convoluted career.

Beginning in 1980, the Hartford based act combined gruff vocals and basic punk tunes with a bit of over the top guitar work, included for self aggrandizement as much as anything else. The troupe disbanded within two years, leaving no recordings behind. It wasn’t until the following year that the band reconvened, but only included the original bassist who picked up some singer named Brian Ripthroat (whoa.) The group’s first single included these folks. But the follow-up counted a new guitarist. There, apparently, wasn’t enough shredding. More personnel shifts ensued and by the end of ’84, White Pigs sported none of its original members even as this latter line-up found the most space on wax and even a few well distributed compilations. Of course, being the mid ‘80s and the band not favoring the spandex version of metal there wasn’t a tremendous future for ‘em. By 1990, everything was history and the band’s collected works – recordings spanning its career and endless line up changes – had been issued.

Songs of Sin remains the band’s singular statement of purpose. It’s pretty well flawed, but counts as the most lengthy release in White Pigs catalog. There’s a six minute song called “Body Parts.” It’s hard to tell if that’s cool or utterly ridiculous. But either way, the track gets pretty close to thrash territory while the band’s singer drones on about eternity. Funny, that. Sitting alongside more punk related fair – “Live for the Fire” – the song serves to properly display White Pigs evolution over time. Whether or not any of the line ups here are going to be enormously engaging depends on listener’s ability to assimilate taste to aggressive music’s various voicings. Regardless of one’s aural proclivities, there aren’t too many people who are going to be capable of resisting the charms of a reimagined “Musnter’s Theme.” White Pigs get ridiculous.