TV Party - P

PIGFACE - Glitch + Son Of A Glitch {MVD} PIGFACE was quite an anomaly back in the early 90s. The band was a veritable who’s who of the Industrial scene and much of the band’s popularity was, in truth, to do with its connections to MINISTRY. The band was put together by drummer Martin Atkins (KILLING JOKE, PUBLIC IMAGE LTD, MINISTRY) and featured notables like Raven (KILLING JOKE, PRONG), Trent Reznor (NINE INCH NAILS), Ogre (SKINNY PUPPY), Chris Connelly (MINISTRY, REVOLTING COCKS) - and that’s just for starters. The sound was spontaneous, mechanical, discordant and uncompromising, mixing elements of all those bands with BIG BLACK, BUTTHOLE SURFERS, SWANS, FOETUS and a large dose of 60s psychedelia played via a 90s electronically-generated sonic boom noise. These films packaged on one DVD capture exactly what the band was like.
The first film (actually ‘Son Of A Glitch’) is the better of the two, compiling footage from several shows, with good sound and decent filming. The Industrial burn ‘Seven Words’ starts off and from there it’s a mix of riveting highs and self-indulgent lows. ‘Hips, Tits, Lips, Power’ is probably the highlight with its unrelenting attack and Atkins in particular is stunning (as are his full-body cymbal hits in ‘Auto Hag’). ‘Lash’ is a multi-drum noise while ‘Bushmaster’ translates into a vast acid trip full of unforgiving distorted shouting and pummelling rhythms - all in slow motion! There’s a bit of unrestrained violence too as Mary Byker gets a middle-finger salute pushed right to his forehead - only to be followed by half the band jumping in the crowd to sort the situation out!
What’s immediately apparent about the second film (‘Glitch’) is the incredibly poor audio quality. The sound drops right down. It’s also apparent that the band was playing in smaller halls. It’s much the same deal as above, although it appears the performances on this film have more format about them. Highlight is ‘Think’ that could be a groovy MINISTRY outtake. There is candid behind-the-scenes footage too, with interviews from most of the main players. Atkins talks of the success of PUBLIC IMAGE LTD and how it didn’t feel right; of his time in MINISTRY and how he didn’t want PIGFACE to be a MINISTRY cover band. There’s also a subtle dig at KILLING JOKE.
Extras come in the form of a whole bunch of live songs - about an additional five on each film including rather surprising airings of PUBLIC IMAGE LTD’s ‘Flowers Of Romance’ and a spectacular, organic ‘Careering’.
While this was an entertaining watch, I couldn’t sit through the whole thing in one go - to an extent the enjoyment came from watching what may occur during the performances rather than the actual music. There is only so much distorted noise, wall-of-sound destructo drumming and fuzzed, phased and unintelligible screaming I can take before it all welds into one. This frequently reached it! For ‘Fans Only’. (25.07.09)

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