1. Alien Angel
2. Where’s Max
4. Wake Pig
7. Dogs of War
8. Soul to Sell
You would think that after touring extensively with Coheed and Cambria and making an announcement that they might be the first band signed by Coheed and Cambria’s supposed new record label, 3 would be the new bandwagon to hop on. However, despite these facts it seems as if people still just haven’t caught on to the genius that is 3. Led by the musically brilliant Joey Eppard, this band has a firm grasp on the concept of rock and roll and has demonstrated it on past releases. With Wake Pig, they have put forth their most well constructed and focused album to date.
It is not a surprise that this band is so commonly associated with Coheed, because their epic arena rock sound combined with the high pitched soaring vocals will no doubt give you flashbacks of In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth:3. The eerily awkward riffs and sporadic pinch harmonics will no doubt offer that same spacey thrill. Speaking of Joey Eppards vocals, I couldn’t praise them enough. This man is in a vocal class all his own and can be considered a living instrument, his voice was made for this type of music. The album thrusts you right into outer space with the first track “Alien Angel.” At first listen the verse might through you off, as it is probably unlike anything you have ever heard. Throughout the record, Joey’s vocals constantly flow along, echo, and sometimes harmonize with the guitar licks, as is present in this first song. The huge chorus, “Are you an angel who’s ship ran aground/Can’t get a grip on this planet she found/Never to look down/Trading the halo for feet on the ground” coincides with the title of the song, and shows off the unique sci-fi lyrical style that is present throughout. The second song, “Where’s Max,” does not offer an answer to that question, but does offer an instrumental stew of the talent present among the rest of the band, as if the songs weren’t enough evidence. Personally, I don’t really see a need for this song, and one might have a tendency to skip it.
Whether coincidence or not, “Dregs,” was also the third track on their previous effort, Summercamp Nightmare, and was a worthy choice to re-record. Almost disturbingly dark, Joey welcomes you to the “dregs of his mind,”over equally deranged yet skilled guitar effects. “Wake Pig,” is one of my favorite songs and truly brings the rock. The verses have a jumpy rhythm laid over a great drum beat and are topped by the fluidly angelic narration. The chorus feels like a rallying cry from heaven, “Wake up soldier/There’s no dreams left in the dark/God has called you home,” and the bridge will blow you away. The song slows down as Eppard sings the metaphorically beautiful “Beyond the static screen/The monster wields the dream/He knows he can’t be seen/Behind the mask,” before breaking back into hard rock followed by a spacey dual guitar harmony and then a gorgeously orchestrated light speed solo, simply breathtaking. The second purely instrumental track, “Bramfatura,” is a real treat for those who appreciate lustrous guitar work. Those who are familiar with Eppard’s other past projects might know that he has the ability to play guitar in the style of those like Justin King, a skill that must take years to master. In a haze of strings and notes this number somehow maintains magnificent energy, and reveals the musicianship of Joey Eppard to a great degree.
Now its back to the distorted rock and roll. In “Trust,” the vocals are once more seamlessly woven among quirky drums and sporadic guitar. This song possesses a real sense of urgency and offers interesting words such as, “Borderline/And I cannot keep still/Your enemies have tamed you/Do you ever smile as you kill?” Once again the band offers a surreal breakdown with really cool production effects and keyboard layers. The one slow song on Wake Pig is found in “Dogs of War,” a beautiful masterpiece. There is not much more to be said about this song, it is subtly emotional and gorgeously written, but still maintains a dark undertone. The next three songs “Soul to Sell,” “Queen,” and “Monster,” continue the superb combination of haunting instrumentals and cherubic vocal stylings, but I will not go into depth as to avoid repetition. “Amaze Disgrace,” the closing track is a seriously powerful ending to a seriously strong album. Eppard’s upbeat singing on the chorus is almost reminiscent of Michael Jackson, and the killer breakdown includes a vocal trail so long and varying that it sounds almost like an Indian chant, and moving rif***e that will indefinitely have you rocking out.
If it isn’t evident by now, this album was one of my favorite releases in 2004. Fans of Coheed and Cambria should fall in love with these guys immediately, but if you’re not a CoCa fan you should still give these guys a fair chance. Their musical talent is overwhelming and they have concentrated it into this 11 song epic. The live show is equally impressive and I believe these guys have a very bright future. I truly recommend that you give them a shot before the bandwagon takes off. All aboard?
Alien Angel is probably one of my favorite songs. Ever. The chorus is just so powerful. I listened to this song on a mix CD about 3 or 4 years ago. I could never find out what the song was called though. Stupid me never looked up the lyrics!
Anyways, this song lasted with me so long I was able to regurgitate the chorus lyrics about two days ago (now I know its Alien Angel :D). Just plain brilliant. Joey Eppard has an incredibly angelic, and memorable voice.