Porcine – Album Review

I’ve led a sheltered life me. I don’t know that much really. About anything. Never been abroad, teetotaler, work all hours God sends, still live with my parents. Well, technically I suppose I don’t really live with them anymore. They’re still in the house, but unfortunately they’re both dead. I was a virgin until my 35th birthday, lost it to an exotic lady above a kebab shop on Sheffield Road. She lost the bet apparently. Anyway, up until that point, and I realise this now, I wasn’t living, I was just existing. Walking around in a stupefied state, almost zombie-like, the living dead. But that late night bit of skin on skin action changed my life, my over-indulgence in sins of the flesh, that little bit of the other, opened my eyes and gave me a metaphorical slap in the face with a cold, wet, withered old cock. It’s time to wake up bubba, what have I been doing for the last 35 years. Well, 21 years I suppose if I’d have popped my cherry aged 14. Which was old at my school. Lads in my class had pubes aged 11. One lad I knew made a lass preggy when he was 12. I was bald down there until I was about 16. A late developer y’see. Anyway, that wonderful night above the kebab shop was, for me anyway, a game changer, a revolutionary revelation. It introduced me to a whole new world of unfettered decadence. Which is where Regional Creeps come in.

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I was out late one night in Soho of all places. Not the London Soho no, no. The Barnsley one. Well, I say the Barnsley one what I mean is the ‘Pieminister Soho Music Institute’, a bar famous in Barnsley for pies and dancing. On ‘Tripadvisor’ it’s been called “a shithole”, and is “full of old farts” apparently. So, let’s cut to the chase. I was walking past that Soho and a fat hipster type came up to me and said “I’ve got what you need old man…”. Now I thought he was either gunna hand me a dime bag of Clarky Cats or some Jessops or summet or I was gunna get shived, but no’siree’you’bob. I’ll tell you what he hands me. Something better than a night of sitting in my living room covering my telly with tinfoil, making little pinprick’s in it and gurning. Something better than sitting naked in my ex-girlfriend’s garden on a cold and wet Sunday night, crying. He hands me a cassette tape. That’s right you blithering idiot. A cassette tape. That’s a two sided analog magnetic tape recording format for audio recording and playback to you and me. On handing me the tape he said, in a strange faux-patois Londinium accent not often heard around the highways and byways of deepest, darkest Barnsley, “have a bang of this number baby, it’s all yew neeeeed”. So, have a bang I most certainly did.

Porcine, formerly Regional Creeps. Now let me just say before I carry on. I loved that name. Any band with the word creeps in it always tickles my fancy. The Creeps, the funky Swedish pop crew from way back in the 90s, the Kreeps, a wonderful surf/doom wop band, or Creep from Brooklyn, who’s expertise lies in plinky plonk keyboard noodles and rudimentary drumming paradiddles. Hang on, I’ve just thought, not all bands with creeps in the title floats my boat. At much expense I ordered a green import of a Creep LP that turned out to be an ex-member of Korn that was just some inane, generic nu-metal dogshit, but I’m sure you understand I’m just attempting to illustrate how much I like the world ‘creep’ in bands names. Sure, I’ve made mistakes, but who hasn’t eh? Jesus!!! Anyway, where was I? Oh yes! Regional Creeps, now Porcine.

Side one begins. ‘Stop The World’. Oh I like this. Distorted guitars then the beautiful, breathy Clare Grogan style vocals kick in, which is no bad thing cos I had a thing for Clare Grogan (of Altered Images fame to those not in the know). “Stop the world I’m getting off…” she sighs, then the ghostly vocals of deep bass Lee Hazlewood suddenly appear with the refrain “I think I’ve had enough”. What a wonderful way to spend 3 minutes and 18 seconds, listening to this on repeat on a fresh Sunday morning, sat in spuggy park sipping on my first but definitely not my last wee dram of methylated spirits of the day. ‘Layaway’. Is this dreampop, is it shoegaze, is it shoepop dreamgaze with a smidge of deconstructed post-elevatorsynth? Who gives a shat baby, it’s all those things and more besides. In fact, why don’t we play famous shoegaze, jangly band bingo and pigeonhole the shit out of
Porcine because I simply love lazy pigeonholing because it’s silly and lazy as fuck and if I’m honest, it really helps me out. So, here we go, eyes down for a full house. LSD and the Search for God, The Dentists, My Bloody Valentine, Lush JAMC…er…Palesaints, Ride, The Seeds with dollops of The Haywains, Childhood with C86 stylings. If any of those bands appeal to you, then you’ll love Porcine. They could be from California, but they’re not, they’re from Yorkshire and I fucking love this LP/cassette. Oh Christ, ’Solid Ground’. Fuck me this is a banger. Guitars distorted as buggery, like when you’ve had 6 hours worth of a solid acid fuckstorm and things are starting to clear just that little bit but the world you’re inhabiting is still most definitely fucking odd and colourfully off-kilter. As an aside, I used to clean up when I was coming down off a tab. Fuck knows why. My mates would be sat in my flat, chilling out, luxuriating in the blissed out wave after gentle wave of psychedelic mind expansions and I’m running round with the Cillit Bang black mould remover. So what. It’s my fucking flat. If you don’t like it, fuck off. N’ext up: ‘Eject’. I have no idea who lives and breathes in Porcine, no idea of their biography, history, story, what makes them tick, their favourite bands, colours, nothing, and that’s the way I prefer it. Because if I knew ‘em, I’d probably ‘bend the rules’ slightly and suggest that their music is good, when in actual fact it was absolute pish. But as it ‘appens, 1. I’m a straight shooter and B. I don’t know them so I can say what I want. Although D. I am a weak and cowardly man who, for fear of bumping into them somewhere and getting duffed up for slating them in a review, I’d say they’re good, when they’re not. But they are good. Very, very, very good. This album is a delightful listen. It’s jangly, joyful, not one iota of tweeness or cloying cliched bullshit. It’s got distortion yeah. But we like distortion don’t we. Breathy but not wheezy vocals with the perfect amount of sweetness, layers of guitar and reverb and other things I have no idea of what I’m talking about with fast but slow but fast drumming. ‘5am’. Harmonies. Like the sixties perhaps. Like perfect pop. Like a long-lost classic from Liverpool played on Mark Radcliffe’s show in the late 80’s. In fact, I think I bought this on an American white label in ’89 from a guy in Düsseldorf. ’Time Never Moves’ could be described as power-pop because of it’s heavy use of guitars and it’s simple melody which, in my very humble opinion, can often describes some of the best in guitar pop action. I want to see these fuckers live and I dare suggest, after listening to this cassette, you will too. N’ow onto ‘Work It Out For Yourself’ which feels familiar. The burundi drumming is post-punk Antz. Oh just fuck off. Post-punk Antz. You silly pseudo-journo cunt. It’s a knife wielding Haircut 100 with a lass on vocals, and Haircut 1 fucking hundred were fucking fantastique. Last one up is ‘Enjoy Yourself’ and let me tell you, I bloody did. A gentle psych-bruschetta layered with sun blush dream pop washed down with a nice cool glass of liquid Methylenedioxymethamphetamine. Joyfulness in absolutism.

So, in summing up. This album has just finished, some ne’er-do-well has attempted to pinch my bottle of methylated spirits and you know what? I wasn’t arsed. it’s cool, no bother. Now normally I would have grabbed them by the scruff and we would have had an undignified, inelegant, shambling wreck of an inebriated fight with flailing punches, missed kicks, ripped creased shirts and falling down pissed soaked trousers but not today. Why? Because I’ve just had 23 minutes and 75 seconds of liquid benzos injected into my earlobes and I’ve got Porcine to thank for that. I will return to their work, again and again and again. Why don’t you join me? You’d have to be an absolute anus not to.

I’m Pelican Tangerine and my word is my bond.

Check out Porcine here out now via Safe Suburban Home,