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Wayne Static, ‘Pighammer’ – Album Review

Pighammer
Dirthouse

Wayne Static‘s solo album ‘Pighammer’ is evil disco, which is to be expected since he has been patenting and peddling that style since his band Static-X burst onto the scene in 1999.

‘Pighammer’ sounds a lot like his main band, only a little darker, a little dirtier and a little grimier. It’s also not too far removed from Ministry, only it’s more metallic and less politically minded. But it certainly reminds us of Static-X, but really, would you have expected anything less from someone named Wayne Static, who was in a band called Static-X? It sort of goes with the territory.

That said, the album doesn’t present itself as a hodgepodge or mish-mash of Static-X B-sides, leftovers or throwaway demos. Not even close. There’s an immediacy and a real heft to these songs. The singer-guitarist lets it all hang out and isn’t afraid to scum things up, whereas on their first two albums, his band created industrially tinged aggro that was polished to a sheen. That’s what a major label recording budget will get you and here, Wayne isn’t concerned with being clean. He’s getting his hands dirty literally. He also wrote some of these songs before he got off drugs and got that kind of clean, so the album is slathered with humanness, too.

The album is 12-songs of sample-heavy hard rock, with machine grinding against machine, lacing the album with a crunchy, mechanized vibe. The first single ‘Assassins of Youth’ was initially written when the singer-guitarist was locked in a drug haze and boasts a staccato beat, as does ‘Static Killer’ and ‘She,’ while ‘Around the Turn’ is erected on a militaristic beat. Evil, creepy disco, indeed.

These songs, like ‘Chrome Nation’ and the slower, slithery, Nine Inch Nails-influenced ‘The Creatures Are Everywhere’  are guitar-driven and full of looped beats but there’s also heat, thanks to Wayne’s gravelly delivery. A lot of synthy rock can sound cold or sterile, but ‘Pighammer’ has a pulse.

Wayne Static sticks to what he knows, giving his signature sound a slight makeover without veering too far off course. That’s why ‘Pighammer’ will more than satisfy Static-X fans and will help him make new ones.

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