04 Oct 2011
by Jon Kerr
During the 12 years since the release of Wisconsin Death Trip, Static-X have maintained a rigid one-album-every-two-years output and, despite following an industrial-by-numbers format, their following – the Cult of Static, as referenced on their sixth album – has barely Wayned (sorry) until the band’s went on hiatus in 2009. Which is how we come to Pighammer, the debut solo album from Static-X’s leading man, Wayne Static.
Members of the “cult” will not be disappointed by the Ministry and White Zombie-influenced industrial poundings present on killer tracks ‘Around the Turn’ and ‘Thunder Invader’. The lead single, ‘Assassins of Youth’ keeps the tempo high whilst Static reflects on his time of drug use and abuse. Meanwhile, ‘Static Killer’ feels mightier than much of Filter or Stabbing Westward’s back catalogue put together. Static’s long stint in the industry has seen him indulge in a number of creative partnerships previously, including the likes of Raymond Herrera, SOiL and Skinny Puppy, and Pighammer is no exception – KoRn’s Jonathan Davis makes an uncredited appearance on the track ‘Shifter’.
‘She’ harks back to the golden age of nu-metal, where slightly clumsy lyrics were forgiven all too easily (“Dirty dreamer / Instigator / Are you anywhere? / Aries!”). Things are immediately rectified with the addictive ‘Get It Together’ which is at once chuggy, poppy and headbang-y. It’s hard to tell weather the album genuinely tails off towards the end or weather the similarity in style starts to drag a bit. Either way, the attempted dynamics added to ‘The Creatures Are Everywhere’ backfire somewhat – the over-breathy vocal style not scaring anyone.
Watch the video to ‘Assassins Of Youth’ by Wayne Static:
All in all, this is an album of bizarre images – a surgeon mutilating beautiful girls into ugly pigs is its overall concept, after all – but few surprises. The Static-X haters who find the band repetitive and unchanged from their early days will struggle to get into this record. But for the “cult”, Wayne Static has created a solo album which serves up just their favorite kind of dish: Pighammer is a fun, danceable slab of pumping industrial darkness.
Top Tracks: Thunder Invader, Static Killer, Get It Together
Sounds Like: Stabbing Westward, Godflesh and – thankfully – Static-X