No fucking clue when this entered my life, it was that fuzzy time in the late 80’s early 90’s when Bush Da First was still in power and all seemed bleak and cold in the world. But maybe that was just the roofies. So this is Mitch Harris on guitar and vox, better known these days as a stalwart member of Napalm Death and Defecation and side projects galore. On Stress Related we’re also treated to Alan Strong on drums, Stephen Chatovich on bass and Joe Caper on vocals. This would be the Pigs second album after Live and Learn. No one I ever knew heard of that one at the time; they still don’t, the bastards.
It’s quite the steaming stew of extremities, to be sure. Imagine hardcore, grind, death, and punk involved in a forcibly violent orgy somewhere under the Sarlak’s nutsack. I love the raw stupidity of this album. I can’t pretend it’s everyone’s bag. This ain’t pretty metal for girls and that asshole in the Lamb of God t-shirt at school last week (“Nice shirt, man.” “Thanks. I made it myself, dick.”) This isn’t for you. You don’t “get” it. It’s not “aggro” enough for you. Fuck off to Hot Topic and your caramel macchiato. That’s what it’s come to, flaying on carrion memes like Hot Topic. And hasty editing. Then again, the mix of vocals (clean hardcore, raspy metal, and orc grunts) that was sort of unique in 1990 has become mainstream and normal. Maybe Righteous Pigs’ time has finally come; America teeters on the brink of a vast wasteland of stupid and this is the soundtrack to the wake.
Listening to the this on loud a few times brings out the old school stompy whiplash thing. I get all in a frothy rage listening to this. “Overdose” is on now and I can’t get it any louder… no, there’s no “eleven” on my stereo. There’s something about those repetitive, grinding riffs that gets the old blood pressure up. It’s all very exciting. “Fly the Friendly Skies” barely lets off the full-throttle roar long enough for Chatovich’s bass to get into the fray. “Crack Under Pressure”? Yes please. More of that. Love the little vamp of Zeppelin near the end of side two.
So yeah, twenty some-odd years later and it still sounds fresh and chunky. Joe Caper’s vocals are a huge highlight; and Alan Strong’s drumming; and of course Mitch Harris’s rather unmistakable crushing riffs. It’s all just daft fun, and better than my memory said it was.