Thursday 26 March 2015

Review: PIG Vs. M.C. Lord Of The Flies – 'The Compound Eye' EP

'The Compound Eye'

Three years ago Marc (Cubanate) Heal and Raymond (PIG/KMFDM) Watts teased us with "the first new PIG track in 8 years" with demos from their studio sessions together. Ever a perfectionist it took Watts another two years to finish fiddling with them, and added two more new songs and a sprinkling of remixes to keep us sated. Considered a split EP, the release is actually more of a collaboration piece, created all in the same sessions with the same team. Along with these British industrial heavyweights we also see Phil Barry joining his fellow Cubanate cohort, as well as Rhys Fulber (Front Line Assembly) providing a remix and Eden (Killing Joke) on the producing role. "In a way it's a Cubanate reunion" said Heal, what with Phil's remix and use of his guitar samples."

With it's opening track 'Drugzilla' it is clear we are in for something special. The thick bassline and iconic guitar riffs are what we've been waiting nearly a decade for, and it doesn't disappoint. There is a modern twist to this classic industrial metal piece that rivals anything KMFDM, NIN and (sorry to say this) Godflesh have released in quite a while. 'Drugzilla' oozes a cool mentality with just a pinch of sleaze. Next is the more upbeat title track 'The Compound Eye'. With an obvious nod to Heal's previous work with Cubanate and as Ashtrayhead, this track is what Cubanate's last album 'Interference' should have been like. With it's polished production and Heal's voiced rage bubbling beneath the surface, it's a sure fire hit, and a perfect spring board for any new works he may have coming up. 'Shake' was one of the two demos and is a deep down and dirty jaunt that has a real 'join in' quality. It has a gritty Southern vibe that is sure to raise a smile to any Revco fans out there. The final original track is 'The Doll'. This song is unlike the others in that it's style leans more towards the alternative late 80's style. With a guitar riff that resounds a Sisters of Mercy anthem and a no nonsense attitude from it's vocals, 'The Doll' is a great departure from the faster more electronic heavy tunes on the EP.
By far the greatest remix is the Fulbertron remix of 'Compound Eye'. Turning what was already a great track into a definite club hit, Fulber subtly adds electronic elements without totally masking the original material. This is by far the greatest remix of his career and it couldn't have been with a better set of artists. Watt's own mix of 'Drugzilla' takes us back in time to the 80's style of remixes. Chopping up the samples and drums yet keeping it's vocals in tact, it's the minimalist style that is appealing the most. Phil Barry's Tsetse mix of 'Compound Eye' is a loud and brash sound which won't be to everyone's taste but is a pleasing version non the less. Last is Marc Heal's more somber and simple mix of 'Shake'. Taking everything back a step and letting the vocals have centre stage, it's what you'd expect from the man who gave us 'C-Tec'. Both this mix and Watt's redux are what remixes truly about.These different interpretations of what a song can sound like creates a welcome return to the old skool style made popular in the 80's.

In the years to come fans of the genre and the artists will look back on this release has the perfect precursor. With Watts stating that the new PIG album is near enough finished and Heal promising a retrospective of Cubanate's work within the year, as well as talk of a join tour between the two acts in 2016, it's clear that this is only the beginning.

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