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Review Of Self-Titled Album By The Golden Pig Electric Blues Band

Updated on January 4, 2017

One of the themes, which I shall be visiting from time to time on this blog, is the erroneous notion, held amongst many Rock aficionados, that 1994 was some kind of a moratorium on Rock music. These misguided people believe that the bands that came out of Seattle represented the last of their kind and that stirring Rock music would never be made again. It is precisely to combat this kind of thinking that I created this blog; so that I could disabuse people of this idea by showing them all the amazing newer bands, which have been out and about.

The fact is, out of the ashes of the Seattle scene sprouted the seeds of many a great group: one of which was The Golden Pig Electric Blues Band. Sadly, this and sundry other groups were never able to come to full-flower not because the talent was not there, but because the Rock music community failed to be the sage gardener it needed to be in order for them to develop.

Yes, as brutal a truth as it is to accept, a seed cannot flourish very well in the wrong soil, no matter how healthy the seed may be, and so The Golden Pig Electric Blues Band were only able to put forth a mere two albums in a climate bereft of support. The good news, however, is that they were great albums!

Concerning myself with its self-titled release in this review, it is an album that packs just as massive a punch as its Seattle peers from earlier times. One can hear this straightway in the song Born Again, which is like a massive pendulum of sound, swinging back and forth and smashing everything in its wake. Also, like its Canadian peer Sea Of Green, The Golden Pig Electric Blues Band combines heavy-riffs with a Bohemian, hippie-like vibe, which, for me at least, is a felicitous change from the forlorn qualities of straight Grunge.

Next comes the song Vol. IV. An allusion to the Black Sabbath album of the same name, it is a song about giving oneself over to inner-wisdom and enlightenment. At first blush, the crushingly heavy-riffs of this track would seem to clash with such a theme, but, considering that Black Sabbath explored many of the same themes in its own lyrics, one sees that they compliment each other quite nicely.

The tasty riffs in Some Violet showcase something that is a forte amongst many a “Stoner Rock” guitarist: that being what I call the “lyrically heavy riff.” In my mind there are two kinds of heavy-riffs.

The lyrically heavy kind is one that is expressive and paints a picture just as vivid as what the song's lyrics are deputed to do. The second kind of riff, what I call “the propulsively heavy riff,” is much more rhythmic and groove-oriented. Over the years, as tempos have increased, the propulsively heavy riff has gained dominance, making the crafting of lyrically heavy riffs something of a lost art. Fortunately, the guitarist of The Golden Pig Electric Blues Band is able to do such riffs with great aplomb.

The lyrically heavy riffage continues in the song Old Man Of The Woods (this reviewer's favorite). Hearing the riff's lumbering gait, one can see clearly in the Mind's Eye a gnarled, troll-like man wending his way through the weald. The song is even replete with a ghostly harmonica solo! Using its Black Sabbath influence to its best advantage, the bands sees fit to give the second part of the song a bouncier, more upbeat feel: a technique Sabbath would use enliven its own songs with from time to time.

Too smoldering and intense in the subdued parts to be considered a power-ballad, Lightyears is a song about seeking escape through oblivion. Featuring organ-figures, which float through the air like musical smoke, this would be an excellent song to listen to in a room festooned with psychedelic posters while on one's favorite entheogen.

Channeling the happier side of the Black Sabbath aesthetic comes the joyous Freedog. Ironically, though by trade a heavy band, this track and many others by this group have a far more celebratory, flower-power vibe than most of the pseudo-hippies did on the H.O.R.D.E. Tour back in the 90s.

Like fellow Northwest band Y.O.B., The Golden Pig Electric Blues Band can use heavy music to send one out into the vastness of the cosmos, as the band does in the song Mizz Marvel. About a woman blessed (or cursed) with super-powers, who saves mankind, the song weaves a web of lyrically heavy riffs to help convey the story, conjuring images of colliding planets and comic-book heroines vaulting off into space to battle the forces of evil.

Not to be outdone by Our Lady Peace, The Golden Pig Electric Blues Band released its own cover of Tomorrow Never Knows by The Beatles. Not surprisingly, the band does a good job of recasting it as a heavy song.

Lastly, is a live version of the song Prophecy Of Doom. Starting out with a sultry, Jazz feel, it quickly assumes a heavier posture. Especially noteworthy is Joe's meditative guitar-solo, which does what a guitar-solo does at its best: to cause the listener to lose oneself in the atmosphere.

So, for those Classic-Rock fans ever complaining there are no modern iterations of the epic jams of yore, you have no reason to complain because albums like this and many others exist.

Now keep calm and buy vinyl.

'Mizz Marvel" By The Golden Pig Electric Blues Band

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