Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Wayne Static - Pighammer (2011)

1. Pighammer
2. Around the Turn
3. Assassins of Youth
4. Thunder Invader
5. Static Killer
6. She
7. Get It Together
8. Chrome Nation
9. Shifter
10. Slave
11. The Creatures are Everywhere
12. Behind the Sky

Static without the X – 7,2/10

This little piggy had candy…
This little piggy comes home…
This little piggy went around the turn…
And this little piggy went …!

And with this twisted version of the famous little piggy poem Wayne Static introduces us to his long-awaited solo record Pighammer. After the sad breakup of Static-X, Wayne decided to go solo and if anything, Pighammer testifies how Wayne was responsible for Static-X’s trademark sound. The album might not be covering a lot of new territories for Static, but honestly, did anyone ever really expect that?

Static’s career with Static-X had seen highs and lows but ended on a definite low with 2009’s Cult of Static. They were out of fresh ideas and the whole band sounded tired as well. Maybe the breakup was necessary. With Pighammer, Wayne definitely proves he is not weakened by the break-up of his former band. In fact, he just goes on where Static-X left it: heavy industrial metal. This time around, the elements that required the other members have either been erased or replaced. The low growls of Tony Campos, the guitar solos by Koichi Fukuda and the drums of Ken Jay are all gone. Instead we have a drum computer throughout the album and increased electronic elements are passages. This last element is actually quite refreshing and even a little experimental in some tracks.

Wayne doesn’t want to alienate us loyal fans. “Around the Turn” features his trademark barking and a march-like industrial tune to warm us all up for the adventure that is Pighammer. Though the song stands its ground, things are getting more intense with the single “Assassins of Youth”, a song about Wayne’s drug use and how he got rid of his addiction. It’s very powerful and full of adrenaline, which is continued by the energizing “Thunder Invader”. “Static Killer” takes us back to Wisconsin Death Trip-styled industrial with the typical computerized keys and the sexual moans of pornstar Tera Wray-Static in the intro. The song itself is okay, but with “She” the album steps up again. With the spoken word-styled verses and a danceable groove at the chorus, it’s quite a unique song for this record. Further highlights include the hard-as-hell “Chrome Nation” and the very experimental “The Creatures are Everywhere”, which makes more ambient use of the electronic elements. The other tracks are all fine, except for “Get It Together”, which gets on my nerves.

In short, Wayne Static got himself a nice solo record out and it’s not bad at all. If you like Static-X, there is no reason why you wouldn’t like Pighammer, because it has the typical Static-X vibe to most of the tracks. It’s actually a whole lot better than 2009’s Cult of Static and in a way also it’s follow-up. There’s nothing more to say about this album than I already have.

Strongest tracks: “Assassins of Youth”, “Thunder Invader” and “She”.
Weakest tracks: “Get It Together” and “Slave”.

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