[29 August 2013]
Like a thuggish, feces-encrusted boot to the face, All Pigs Must Die’s new record Nothing Violates This Nature inflicts pain and suffering on the listener relentlessly. But pain and suffering is what this type of macho, über-angry hardcore is all about, right? This type of stuff is designed to make you feel like you are being physically beaten. As a long-time fan of metal and hardcore of all varieties, I have found myself in all sorts of sweaty, chaotic mosh pits over the years, but the only time that I have ever felt honesty afraid for my personal safety was at a Converge show back in 2007. The fresh-faced, apparently psychotic young gentlemen at that show really seemed like they wanted to hurt each other, and me; it was an experience that I will not forget anytime soon. All Pigs Must Die share members with the mighty, much beloved Converge, and while their sound differs somewhat from the white-hot fury of Converge, that ‘I am about to get the snot beaten out of me’ feeling remains in the pit of the listener’s stomach. Nothing Violates This Nature is a good record. It does what a hardcore record is supposed to do: fill you will fear, anxiety and the threat of impending violence.
This is crusty, pessimistic hardcore. We are not talking about the kind of apple-cheeked, positive, straight edge hardcore that tries to remind you of how proud your mom will be of you if you just say no to smoking crystal meth. And that is a good thing; straight edge hardcore can be, in the immortal words of Botch, “the worst music I’ve ever heard.” Nothing Violates This Nature has song titles like “Chaos Arise”, “Of Suffering” and “Sacred Nothing”. All Pigs Must Die suggest that the only redemption that we can hope for is in annihilation. They posit that chaos is our only ally in the face of stifling, oppressive conformity. Pain is reality, instability is truth and hope is for the weak. Damn right. These are exactly the kinds of sentiments that I look for in my hardcore, and All Pigs Must Die’s intended audience will most likely agree with me.
But let’s not delude ourselves here; your significant other who does not really like hardcore and/or metal will make you turn Nothing Violates This Nature off right away. This is not a record with a lot of crossover potential. There is not a single solitary moment on here that will change the mind of anyone who has decided in the past that they just don’t like hardcore or crust punk. Although All Pigs Must Die display plenty of nuance and texture, it all falls solidly under the banner of hardcore and extreme metal. You know those kids that hang out down by the 7/11? The ones with all the patches on their hoddies and the pit-bull tied up on a rope? The ones who you can’t decide if they are homeless or just kind of crusty? They will probably love Nothing Violates This Nature. Dig out your old boom box and go listen to this record with those kids out in front of the 7/11; they will love you for it. Make some new friends. Drink a few beers. Enjoy yourself, because, as All Pigs Must Die consistently remind us, the world is a cold, meaningless wasteland of stupidity and the only thing that may provide some momentary solace is some good old fashioned crusty hardcore. But if the crust punk kids at the 7/11 try to get you to smoke crystal meth with them you should probably say no, because your mom was probably right about that.