Review of Pegleg Pig's first album 'In A Pig's Eye'

Artist: Pegleg Pig

Title: In a Pig’s Eye

Review by G. W. Hill @ REVIEW YOU

"In a Pig’s Eye" is quite an interesting and entertaining album. It’s very good, but has a few flaws. The first problem is that it often feels a little awkwardly produced. It feels like it’s layered a little strangely and there’s a little problem with the tracks (meaning the individual instruments and voices, not the songs) feeling like they’ve been set on top of each other rather than blending together seamlessly. The other problem is that the vocals can at times be a little rough. Part of that is related to the production and part of that is in terms of performance. The great thing is, both of those problems seem to (for the most part) fade as the disc continues. The vocal issue is resolved in part by using a more distant approach on the vocal sound with a little distortion. That sound seems to both fix any shortcomings and bring a great retro sound. In fact, the sound of this band is firmly rooted in classic rock, but it does have nods to other styles like country and jazz.

“What Kind of Girl Are You?/Kickin’ Yore” opens the disc, feeling a bit like Rush. As the vocals join it takes a turn for the worse. The tone on those vocals is bad, the production worse and they are a little flat. The music has more of a jam band element here and with some better vocals it would be a good tune. The first instrumental jam features some tasty guitar work and has a bit of a jazz flavor at times, along with some country hints. They bring it back to the song proper, but then it works out the second part of the tune. It’s a tasty, fusion oriented jam that has a great groove, some neat twists and turns and some solid instrumental work. The vocals on that segment are a bit rough at first, but as they get more power, they are a lot more effective. It turns into a hard rocking jam that’s almost old school metal.

“Forever” feels like a country meets folk rock and singer songwriter tune. It’s got an expressive and expansive arrangement. It’s nicely echoed in terms of production. Although it might be seen as a step down from the opener, it’s got a lot of charm and style. For the most part here the vocals work better than some of those displayed on the previous tune, but there’s one place where they go terribly wrong.

“Catrina” is possibly the highlight of the set. The vocals work much better than any we’ve heard on the set so far and the smoking hot classic rock jam presented calls to mind old school Montrose or perhaps even Captain Beyond.

That Rush vibe returns on “Emotionalee Insaynne.” It turns to more of a psychedelic garage band sound from there, but this is another of the stronger tunes on the set.

“Physical Tongue” starts with a little telephone call sound clip. It powers out from there in a soaring jam that’s fun. The vocals have a definite distant, slightly distorted feeling to them that works very well. Later in the piece there is a cool “call and response” between the vocalist and a dog. It should be noted that this track includes a line that earns it a parental warning.

The percussion that opens “Bleeding Hearts With Broken Bones” calls to mind “I Want Candy” from Bow Wow Wow, but the resemblance ends there. The tune has some of that fusion and a real soaring arrangement. Again, early Montrose is a valid reference point. It has some strong jamming built into it.

“The Ruling Class” has hints of jazz, but overall feels closer to some of the folk oriented progressive rock that came out during the late 1960s and early 1970s. It’s classy, classic, intricate and tasty.

“Third Degree” has a raunchy, hard rocking sound, a bit like Black Oak Arkansas. It’s another screamer and a great tune. The guitar solo section is more in keeping with jam band sounds, but still rocks out. There’s a noisy little bit that ends, it, sort of like Jimi Hendrix.

“Waxin’ the Cow” closes the set. The first half of the tune is in the form of a stripped down acoustic blues jam. It’s another point where the vocals don’t work extremely well. When it works out to powered up blues, though (complete with harmonica) everything gels. All in all, this is a strong disc that could have been made even better with better production and more attention to some of the vocals on the earlier tunes. It’s a fun set and it seems that this band would be great to see live. It really bodes well for future releases from them, too.

Rating: 4 Stars (out of 5) — G.W. Hill (Feb 28, 2012)

Article by: Michael Canter 09 FEBRUARY 2013

Album Review - In A Pig's Eye by Pegleg Pig

Release Date: 23-January-2012

Genre: Rock/ Progressive/ Blues

Hometown: Tulsa, OK

Publisher: [p][c] 2012 Pegleg Pig

Label: Unsigned

Total Time: 45m 12s

Review Date: 09-February-2013/ Review Format: MP3 via Bit Rate: 256 kbps

For Fans Of: Robin Trower, Col. Bruce Hampton, Mothers Of Invention, Captain Beefheart

Songs In Jivewired Radio Rotation: Physical Tongue/ Best Songs: Waxing The Cow, Forever, What Kind Of Girl Are You?/Kickin' Yore/ Team Photo: Bleeding Hearts With Broken Bones, Physical Tongue

Previous Jivewired Review: None

Jivewired Digital One Sheet:

Get it at: Amazon | Artist Website | CD Baby

Track Listing: 01. What Kind Of Girl Are You?/Kickin' Yore 10:39 02. Forever 3:24 03. Catrina 3:51 04. Emotionalee Insaynne 4:36 05. Physical Tongue 4:13 06. Bleeding Hearts With Broken Bones 4:12 07. The Ruling Class 3:00 08. Third Degree 4:16 09. Waxin' The Cow 6:51

Review: When listening to In A Pig's Eye by Pegleg Pig, you are going to have to get past the production, which is the only inherent flaw with this recording. There are some mixing/mastering anomalies from song to song so you may find yourself adjusting the volume or having to adjust your EQ. This review was done via Amazon download, so the problem may lie in the download process. It just seems to me that the vocals and the instrumentation seem a bit too separate. Nonetheless, this album offers some real highlights so I'll just look past the sound quality and focus directly on the music.

The album kicks off in grand and stellar progressive fashion with a magnificent ten-minute blaster that runs the gamut of what progressive music is and should be: scorching guitars interspersed with a free-form arrangement layered in jazz and country rock undertones. The composite represents a boogiefied, psychedelic jam that seems both neo-hippie and anti-hippie at the same time. I know what the band was going for here, and the amalgam works in wonderful fashion thanks to it's contradictory essence and not in spite of it. Had the mix on What Kind Of Girl Are You?/Kickin' Yore been EQ'd just a bit more consistently, this would easily be the go-to song on the album. The guitar work on this album is superb at times, and fans of Robin Trower will be floored by some of the riffs herein. Great examples include the opening song and the solo on Forever.

Forever allows the band to really shine in all facets. Pegleg Pig has left room for improvisation and further instrumental interpretation and I am sure in a live setting this is a crowd favorite. The percussion is steady but is really hammered home on the coda, again, a great example of expanding on the elements of the progressive arrangement. That is the strength of this entire album -- on the better songs this band seems to find a balance between hard rock and progressive sensibilities. The coda on Forever offers 10-15 seconds of guitar work that feels a little like Al DeMeola, which was a surprising and nice get.

Another highlight is the blues harmonica/scorching guitar interplay on Waxin' The Cow. It gets almost nuclear at times, a real throw down that offers sensibilities of country rock and screaming blues in unified assault with a blistering guitar, a combination that simply shreds. The vocal range is a bit strained at times, so approach that upper register with slight trepidation but certainly don't shy from it. The emotive actually carries the song and the pig voice outro and slowing harmonica that literally grinds to a halt is a perfect ending.

I'd like to see Pegleg Pig get this album remastered. It's unfortunate that the sound quality may turn some people away from a genuinely enjoyable experience. I am betting that Pegleg Pig is amazing in a live setting and I truly believe that this album should better reflect that. Again, it may just be the download process, or the fact that I am reviewing via MP3. In A Pig's Eye seems over-compressed a bit and a little distant in sound at times but the songs themselves are quite impressive, and as a cohesive unit, Pegleg Pig is more crisp and precise than this recording, with it's anomalies, reflects. In the meantime, adjust your EQ to maximize the experience and start shredding on your air guitar. This is a fun album that just needs a little kick in the ass on the engineering side.

About Pegleg Pig: "Pegleg Pig, for me, is THE MOST SATISFYING project I've ever been involved in. Jim and John are top-notch people who know their stuff and have solid musical instinct to go with that knowledge. Since I've had to learn the DAW technology from scratch, I have to hand it to them for being patient with me in relation to the occasional gaff (Don't push THAT button). The Pig gives me a chance to express and challenge myself in ways that are hard to find in most band environments." -- Stormin' Norman/ "Pegleg Pig has been something that has been a dream of us all to be able to get our ideas down in is such a huge satisfaction to hear something you have created put on a cd and listen to it in your car driving down the road.its always a big dream of every musician to be able to share with others what he has created. I am blessed to be at point in life to able to do the music and love every minute of being part of Pegleg Pig." -- Jim "Jimass" Bottoms/ "This has been a great experience for me. It has given me the opportunity to get back into playing and allowed me to express my musical ideas and rekindle my friendship with Jimmy. And though Norm and I both played guitar in Split Decision, we never did it together. This has been our opportunity to get to know each other, play, write, and record some kick ass music. And hey, CD speaks for itself." -- John "Music Man" Meena — Michael Canter, Jivewired (Feb 9, 2013)

— Michael Canter@Jivewired (Feb 9, 2013)

Pegleg Pig features a number of musicians whose central experience is playing in cover bands. In a lot of ways, that’s all the listener needs to know. That translates to an album that features some great playing. The songwriting and production, though, feel a little rough. The vocals are similarly problematic. For the most part that doesn’t really mar this a lot. It just lends an “amateurish” element to the set. Even the song titles are often trite.

A killer hard rock sound opens the album on “Pig Pile.” It drops to just drums for a sea of vocals to enter. The vocal sections are punctuated by hard rocking jams. One of those features a screaming classic rock guitar solo. There is also a retro sounding organ solo later. At times this feels a bit like Vanilla Fudge or Deep Purple. Some of the guitar soloing later in the piece feels a bit like The Allman Brothers.

Starting much more tentatively, “Black and Green” has a definite psychedelic rock vibe to it. This piece has a much more freeform type of progression. A lot of times it seems more like an excuse for soloing. Still, there is a song structure here, too. It just seems a little under-developed and immature.

A real Southern rock sounding riff opens “Something About Love.” The piece starts to evolve in that kind of vein evoking thoughts of both The Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd. The chorus seems more closely tied to the no frills hard rock sounds of 1970s bands like Free and Humble Pie. The instrumental section in the middle of the song is among the most developed and professional sounding portions of this album.

A hard edged guitar riff opens “No One Gets out of Here Alive.” As a second guitar joins this has a real heavy metal sound to it. In a lot of ways this feels a lot like the early, blues driven, rough around the edges indie-metal from the 1970s. The dual guitar soloing on this is top notch. Despite the rough edges, this is one of the best cuts here. It seems more fully realized than some of the other stuff does.

Percussion opens “Yesterday.” Somehow that percussive start feels a bit like “Rikki Don’t Lose that Number” from Steely Dan. The cut works out to more of a straight ahead rocker, though. There are some hints of The Beatles (the older, raw rock and roll side of that band). Between the guitar arrangement with its multiple layers and the fairly complex vocal arrangement, this piece is one of the most developed here.

“Please Call Tomorrow” is more of a power metal tune. It’s not a bad song, but never really manages to gel or get into any kind of territory that seems special at all. The biggest problem with this song, though, is that it just keeps going and going. It definitely overstays its welcome. That’s true because they essentially took the weakest song of the whole set and stretched it to over nine minutes in length.

The album goes from its weakest point to its best. “Up To Down” has a great riff-driven arrangement. It’s classic rock meets metal and the whole package just works better than any other song here does. It’s got some harmonica and if there’s one song you must hear, this is it. Between the strongest vocal delivery of the album, the more mature song structure and the fiery guitar interplay, this is a winner. The production works better here, too.

“If She Only Knew” is a ballad, and a fairly successful one. Some strings lend passion to the piece. Appropriately a hammer opens “Fix-it Man.” There is also a bit of theatrical dialog setting the double entendre based tone. The song is a hard rocking, blues based number. It’s a bit silly, though, and calls to mind the over the top obviousness of Spinal Tap. The extended guitar solo is a nice touch. “Walk on Me” closes the set. It’s not anything special, though.

With better production, this set would work better. This really feels like a garage band in so many ways, but especially the production. Everyone here plays quite well. So, more time and experience in songwriting will give better results. “Up to Down” shows that this group has the potential for greatness. They just need to work a bit harder in the songwriting department and get better production.

Artist: Pegleg Pig

Title: A Twisted Tale

Review by G. W. Hill Rating: 3.5 (out of 5)

article by: Michael Canter

24 November 2013
Album Review - A Twisted Tale by Pegleg Pig

"This really feels like a garage band in so many ways, but especially the production. Everyone here plays quite well. So, more time and experience in songwriting will give better results."
- G.W. Hill

Release Date: 24-August-2013
Genre: Blues Rock / Southern Classic / Progressive
Location: Tulsa, OK
Publisher: [p][c] 2013 Pegleg Pig
Label/Distribution: Self Released
Total Time: 53m 53s
Review Date: 24-November-2013
Review Format: MP3
Bit Rate: 128 kbps
For Fans Of: Mothers Of Invention, Robin Trower, Drive By Truckers, Thin Lizzy
Songs In Jivewired Radio Rotation: No One Gets Out Of Here Alive, Yesterday
Best Songs:  No One Gets Out Of Here Alive, Walk On Me, Yesterday, Please Call Tomorrow
Best of the Rest: If She Only Knew, Fixit Man
Previous Jivewired Review: In A Pig's Eye
Jivewired Digital One Sheet:

Purchase: Amazon | iTunes
Stream: Jivewired

Track Listing:
Pig Pile 4:05
Black And Green 3:37
Something About Love 5:20
No One Gets Out Of Here Alive 4:58
Yesterday 5:24
Please Call Tomorrow 9:40
Up To Down 3:58
If She Only Knew 3:30
Fixit Man 4:44
Walk On Me 8:40

I like to think of Pegleg Pig as music's version of the Dos Equis spokesperson who goes by the title 'The Most Interesting Man In The World' and I can validate that.  Not much is known about Pegleg Pig.  They don't tour.  They love making music.  There is true talent in this band.  Other than that I have little to offer.  But it's that mystery factor that is just as appealing.  I want to know more.  A Twisted Tale, their latest release, makes me want to know more. But they choose to play it close to the vest.  I can respect that.

When we last left Pegleg Pig, we were exploring their previous release, In A Pig's Eye, and hoping that the next effort might present us new music with a little better mastering.  We're getting there.

Certainly there is marked improvement.  As composers, the music is evolving as well.  You still get some of that Mothers Of Invention meets Robin Trower vibe, but there is a little more hard-edged classic rock and southern boogie to A Twisted Tale.  I feel a little Molly Hatchet in this release.  Some Drive By Truckers.  I also hear some early Dead in the mix.  Maybe some Pat Travers Band as well.

It's that Southern Blues & Boogie that sets this release apart from their previous effort.  A Twisted Tale jumps out at me quite a bit more.  It makes a statement.  It flows.  The arrangements are richer -- all signs of maturity in the recording process.  That's what we hoped for, that's what we asked for and that's what Pegleg Pig gave us.

Pegleg Pig remains stronger instrumentally than vocally but that is not a slight nor is it a detriment. Listen to the guitar work on this album and you'll understand what I'm saying.  It's electrifying, a real face-melter at times.  But kudos to the band on the ballad If She Only Knew - a song that shows that Pegleg Pig can reach down and pull out a vocal-driven song when necessary and one that reminds me ever-so-slightly of Joe Walsh's Meadows.

There's still room for improvement, but the chops are there and progression from album to album is always a good thing. It usually portends to even better things.  I think I read that the band is already recording new material.  I like the ambition that shows.

And it's the harder-edged songs that really stand out on this long player.  The best is easily No One Gets Out Of Here Alive, but songs like Yesterday, Walk On Me and Please Call Tomorrow are satisfying in their own rights. Please Call Tomorrow is one of those arena blasters that would illicit chills and group participation spontaneity in those stadium-sized  classic World Series of Rock extravaganzas so popular in the late 1970s.  Up To Down is chillingly good, and reminds me of some of the Ron 'Pigpen' McKernan hard-edged blues and rock masterpieces from early-era Grateful Dead.  Fixit Man, with it's near-sinful opening bass line fits in similarly.

I'm digging the direction in which Pegleg Pig is pushing themselves.  I like this album and the growth and maturity it shows a great deal.  A Twisted Tale shows positive inertia and a lot of forward momentum. I'm excited to see what follows.  


PEGLEG PIG is pleased to have you as our guest. Feel free to look around, listen to the music, even give us your feedback. If you like, you can go to our contact page and leave us a message. Hopefully, you will find all to your liking. In the meantime, taste the tears, burn with the rage, and exhilarate in the joy that is the PIG !  

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