“Pigmata” is a sort of belated mutant twin to last year’s “Pigmartyr”, retaining the ten tracks of that album but polishing up the rough production significantly, as well as adding three brand new bonus tracks. The album also marks the return of Pig, in many ways.
“Pigmartyr” was released under the moniker Watts, and was seemingly intended to be Watts’ way of breaking through to a bigger audience. Due to the apparent incompetence of his label at the time, the big break never arrived. But as such the album was low on the twisted inspiration that’s been the trademark of most Pig releases, and a frustratingly conventional sounding industrial rock album; big on loud guitar riffs and scatological puns, but lacking in the department of the perversely polymorphous musical crossbreeding Pig fans have come to love and crave.
The touching up of the “Pigmartyr” material that’s taken place here can’t rescue the songs from sounding a tad too generic, but at least the new sheen manages to bring them to life in a new way. And there’s certainly nothing wrong in the songwriting department – quite a few of the songs are catchy little rock monsters, with standout tracks being “Suck Spit Shit”, “Situation” and the wonderfully sleazy “Take”. Meanwhile, “Kundalini” takes joy in juxtaposing a melancholy beauty with musings about “the secret life of your labia” and “designer vaginas”. Which, of course, is the pleasure one wants from a Pig song.
But the proper return of the Pig I want to see in my poke doesn’t arrive until the end of the album. The three bonus tracks take things in an altogether more exciting direction. “God Rod” filches the verse from Schwein track “Crown”, but turns completely on itself as it breaks out into a chorus of “mattress mambo” and “torture tango”, rendering it as schizophrenic as anything from Pig pinnacle “Praise the Lard”. The aforementioned “On the Slaughterfront” is a jazzy, mutant jukejoint beast, which is so soaked in bile, self loathing and grotesque, pitch black humour that it’s difficult not to see it as a reaction against the outcome of the Watts project. Marked by a morbid death drive it may be, but hopefully it also signals a full return to more adventurous ground as well as the coming of more Pig material.