Pig Destroyer - Prowler in the Yard (reissue) [Relapse - 2015]
I remember when Pig Destroyer unleashed Prowler in the Yard onto the scene in 2001. Scott Hull's (Agoraphobic Nosebleed) newest project sounded promising. However, I hated the band name (still do! haha), so I never really checked them out. Needless to say, they put a lot of grinding fury into their Relapse debut and it made great waves in the scene. My stubbornness prevailed, and until this past week, I never checked this album out. Thankfully, this has all changed.
Short, fast, and pummeling is a great way to describe Prowler in the Yard. With the exception of three tracks, all fall under the two minute mark...perfect for grind destruction. Hyper drums, throaty screams, and frantic riffs are the mode of transport for Pig Destroyer's brand of balls to the wall grind. Whether furiously blasting through energetic shredders like "Preacher Crawling" or dropping grooves worthy of a stomp like "Trojan Whore," Pig Destroyer feel very confident with any speed or tweak of the genre. This is no surprise, either, considering the talent behind the instruments. Brian Harvey (who, incidentally, is NOT the Brian Harvey I've been friends with for 30 years) is a madman behind the kit. Comfortable keeping any pace from sluggish to breakneck, he keeps this album locked down and controls the speed with raging limbs. He is accompanied by scene legend Scott Hull. Well known for his acrobatic riffs, Scott does not disappoint on this record. He tears up the fretboard on grinders like "Heart and Crossbones," "Ghost of a Bullet," and "Sheet Metal Girl," to name only three. Outside of grinding, Pig Destroyer drop some awesome sludge on "Starbelly." It's a nice heavy bit toward the end of the album that lets the preceding tracks soak in. Exclusive to this release is an unreleased, untitled track...and holy crap, does this thing rip! If you haven't punched through the walls by the time this one's over, you probably didn't have it loud enough.
While I spent the better part of 14 years avoiding Pig Destroyer, it looks like I'll have to repent and start to pay attention. Prowler in the Yard received great praise, and it's well deserved. Relapse's limited 2xCD remastered reissue is a treat for all grind fans and should be picked up before it's gone! Paul Casey