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Pigs on Purpose

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Critics' Reviews

amg review
The first Nightingales album is a perfect example of out-of-sync genius given its original release in 1982. As post-punk impulses transmuted into new pop sheen and initial stabs towards jangly indie took hold in England, Robert Lloyd and company made a rumbling, crabby album that could only be compared to the Fall (and no less than Mark E. Smith approved of Lloyd's sharp, character-portrait lyrics). If Pigs on Purpose is, from a distance, a bit of a muted affair compared to later work -- even the 2004 re-release sounds fairly gauzy, though one has to wonder a bit about the remastering at points -- the sense of confrontation without simply being punk rock as such remains. Lloyd's fellow Prefects compatriot Alan Apperley plays drums with an ear for attacking the listener just so -- check the brawling breaks on "One Mistake" -- while the swaggering rockabilly-meets-late-night jazz feeling of songs like "It Lives Again" and "Joking Apart" surely had to have been an unspoken influence on later bands like Gallon Drunk. Meanwhile, some of Lloyd's imagery really should have won literary prizes somewhere -- beginning with a pseudo-folk a cappella arrangement for "Well Done Underdog" with the words "Did you hear about the Irishman who opened a tandoori restaurant?" the type of thing most bands wouldn't even think to try. The 2004 reissue includes the B-sides from the "Use Your Loaf" single as well as everything from the "Paraffin Brain" and "Urban Ospreys" singles -- the B-side "Elvis the Last Ten Days," supposedly detailing his "previously unreleased diary entries," is a total keeper. Meanwhile, Lloyd's liner notes are just what one would hope for from the man, detailed as well as sharply funny as hell. ~ Ned Raggett, Rovi