PIGS x7 – Lucky 7

It’s the feature where we ask artists to name their 6 favourite songs by others, and a lucky 7th song of their own…today, and the first entry for 2018, Velvet Sheep is aptly pleased to welcome Pigs, Pigs, Pigs, Pigs, Pigs, Pigs, Pigs (or Pigs x7 for ease) for their Lucky 7, it’s a proper farmyard / Orwellian dust up, and we’re happier than pigs in excrement that this most exciting of doom-laden psych noise punks have joined us with some outstanding and edifying choices, not least Alice Coltrane, whose “Journey In Satchidananda” first came on my radar via an interview I did with Mudhoney’s Mark Arm for the Quietus. And incidentally Pigs x7 are playing a Quietus benefit gig at the Lexington on Friday 19 Jan, so you check out the Newcastle noiseniks tear it up under the veil of pagan mid winter darkness imminently. But here’s a picture of them earlier, at another, unnamed drinking establishment.

Pigs x7’s album “Feed The Rats” came out this time last year on the stellar Rocket Recordings, and featured highly on a few notable end of year lists. Their first ever gig had been supporting Goat on only their second live show, and since that the five piece have been relentlessly taking their neck-wrecking cathartic chaos on the road, playing with the likes of The Cosmic Dead and Luminous Bodies. Part Monster Magnet, Part Chimp (geddit) they make wearing ear plugs for mbv and Dinosaur Jr seem like wrapping yourself in cotton wool, but what did lead screamer Matt Baty (who also runs record label Box Recordings) and guitarist Adam Ian Sykes choose as songs they dig? What is at the root of their “Psychopomp”?

1. Scott Walker – World’s Strongest Man

Matt: My favourite song in the world from my favourite album in the world. The whole album makes me feel a whole range of emotions all at once, it’s crushing and euphoric at the same time. There’s nothing else like it, other than Scott’s other albums that is. Fun fact, I once had this song as my alarm sound on my phone. It woke me every morning for months and it never once tainted the song for me.

2. Alice Coltrane – Journey In Satchidananda

Matt: It’s a scary world out there and sometimes you need a song to take the edge off. This song takes my edges off. Why not try running a lovely hot bath and slamming this track on? I can guarantee it’ll make the world seem less intense for just over 6 minutes. Better still, listen to the full album in the bath. Take those edges off.

3. SunnO))) – My Wall

Matt: This track made me cry once. True story. I mean, I was drunk and listening to it in the dark with headphones on but yeah, it’s pretty bleak. At the time, I’d not heard anything quite like this anywhere. It opened my ears to a whole new world of music. This track features Julian Cope sounding all grim reading some pagan and occulty poems. It’s a scary world out there.

4. Berzilla Wallin – Conversation with Death

Adam: An absolutely devastating version of the Appalachian folk song. Probably not a healthy listen as I attempt to make peace with the void but when you just need to listen to that one song that, by the end, makes you feel like you’ve been hit by a truck, this is the one.

5. Funkadelic – Maggot Brain.

Adam: Likely the best guitar solo ever recorded and you get a whole ten minutes of it. The perfect antidote when you feel like you’ve just been hit by a truck.
“Play like your mama just died”.

6. Andrew WK – Never Let Down

Adam & Matt: Combined choice here. Indeed, we both agree it’s a scary world out there. Sometimes life’s edges are hard, very sharp and pierce you from time to time. It’s at times like that you need people around you that will put an arm around your shoulder and remind you that you’re doing OK. If you open your heart and listen closely this song will probably change your life.

The Lucky 7th: Pigs x7 – Sweet Relief

Matt: I don’t really like writing or talking much about our own music. That can make interviews quite uncomfortable at times. What can I say that’s interesting about it? Probably nothing. If you like big Sabbathy riffs (and yeah, the title is a slight ode to Black Sabbath) and thick as hell guitar tones you’ll likely dig this. The video is probably better than the track to be honest. It was produced by Kevin Craig.