Raymond Watts returns on crackling form with new album “Merciless Light”!
For those who are unfamiliar with Raymond Watts, then all you need to know is that he has consistently produced very high-quality electro-industrial rock music since 1988 under the <PIG> monicker. This is the 13th album in his long career.
Starting off with “No Yes More Less” the album starts of with a verse of German that leads us into the main body of the song. It’s mid-tempo with a nice chugging beat and bassline enhanced by guitars from En Esch (An established solo artist in this same field too). Lyrically, as is usual for Watts, its a scathing and satirical dig at modern society, and the values we put on things and each other. Well, that’s how it comes across to me!!
“Veni Vidi Vici” starts with a pulsating bassline, with Raymond’s snarling drawl reciting some rather cryptic lyrics including the phrase “Tout est bon dans le cochon” – “It’s all good in the Pig” in French! I’m assuming he is referring to himself and that everything is peachy to quote the lyrics!
“Feed The Wound” is a hard-hitting and danceable track with yet more of the cryptic lyrics in German and english, which appear to be relating to how easily people believe what they read or see in the press, media, social media etc… I could be wrong but listen and make your own mind up!
The first of two tracks featuring mixes by Jim Davies (The Prodigy, Pitchshifter, Hans Zimmer) is next up. “Speak of Sin” is another bouncy yet aggressive track with a great melody and chorus to sing along to.
1930s style nightclub jazz??!!
Yes that’s exactly what “Limbo” brings to mind, with its muted trumpets, and slow pace you could easily imagine Raymond holding court and singing this as if he is Al Capone! Again, make what you will of the lyrics, as they are rather humourous, yet I can’t make head or tail of them!
If “Glitz Krieg” was a person, it’s the guy who swaggers into a bar thinking he is god’s gift to everyone and wants to be the centre of attention. However, where you would take an instant dislike to that person, you are likely to love this song. It’s infectious and groovy, and one of the highlights on offer here.
Mr Watts asks you to “Sugar My Pill” on the next track. This one has a sinister vibe to it, made all the more so by the sneering and acerbic tone he delivers it with.
Further proof of how consistently good <PIG> are comes with “The Dark Room“. Probably the rockiest track on this album, it certainly had my trotters tapping away, whilst I munched my way through a bag of pork scratchings in homage to it!
Time for the title track…
Beginning with a plaintive half-whispered vocal, “The Merciless Light” offers a darker and slower song to us. With female backing vocals on the chorus, it’s very reminiscent of Gary Numan‘s late 80’s/early 90s material. We even get a guitar solo of sorts in this one, before it then takes on an almost gospelesque last quarter. Great stuff!
The second track mixed by Jim Davies is the next to crawl up our legs, and bite us on the bum cheek… And it’s appropriately entitled “Tarantula“! Once again I’m reminded of Numan, Nine Inch Nails, and “Ultra” era Depeche Mode. listen to it, and I’m pretty sure you will agree. It has a great chorus too, that you will want to sing along with!
“Obliteration Liberation” is one of those tracks that drags you in, and then builds up into a most splendid utterance of sarcasm, swearing, and swirling guitar. Definitely one of my favourite tracks herein.
Like a good pork roast, unfortunately we have to come to the last slice…
With an album as enjoyable as this, you don’t realise that nearly 50 minutes have already passed by. However, you have one last bite to enjoy with “The Judas Chair“. This one chugs along at a restrained pace and again features some great guitar work from En Esch. And so the album finishes with a triumphant grunt, rather than a weak little squeal.
This pig is stuffed full of great songs, lots of melody, and a healthy dose of Watts’ dry humour, and won’t “Boar” you!
PRAISE THE LARD!!!
This pig is stuffed full of great songs, lots of melody, and a healthy dose of Watts' dry humour, and won't "Boar" you!
PRAISE THE LARD!!!
- CD - $13 USD