What can we say about Piglet that hasn’t already been said? The roiling drums and tappy-go-lucky attack of Chicago’s premier math rock band has influenced countless generations in it’s wake, despite a relatively short life span. But this week we got a real treat from Dog and Pony records, adding yet another dimension to the saga.
Raw, gutsy, and full of energy, these sessions were apparently captured at two different points, each telling their own story. The first session was right after they recorded Lava Land in 2004, the band’s seminal EP. The second was in 2006, while the band was “well into workshopping what would have been their debut full length.” Both were recorded in WLUV’s Chicago studio.
The first session, featuring classics like “Bug Stomp” and “Anthropology Anthology” shows off the band’s youthful, almost care-free energy. The songs contrast nicely with Lava Land, with the drums and bass fairly forward in the mix. So now we have two versions to choose from. On the second session, you can tell the band have sharpened their methods, but have also grown three times as cantankerous. The tense, nearly antagonistic push from songs like “Moon Bounce” and “Tsi Tsi Ki” make you really wonder where Piglet might have been headed if they hadn’t hung it up. “Bicycle Tour America” in particular teases a dissonant, darker sound altogether, and you hear it here more obviously than on 2014’s Songs.
Altogether, we’re really glad this is out there, be it for comparison, wonderment, or just enjoyment. Even if Piglet never plays shows again or makes another record, we now have a fantastic slice of the truth, and a tasty one at that. It’s obvious that they weren’t just satisfied to dink around the studio and play to click tracks. Piglet wanted to feel things, and make us feel it too.
Check out Dog and Pony Records for more Chi-town math-y madness, and don’t forget that we have that Story of Piglet article as well if you’re looking for more info on the band!