Four years after their critically acclaimed debut, “From Gutter With Love,” Pidgeon returns with “Might As Well Go Eat Worms”. While the title evokes the whimsies of a children's poem, it is nonetheless a nice way of saying that if you're all alone, you're probably better off dead. Two and a half years have elapsed since the album was recorded, during which time the band clawed its way through a hailstorm of personal strife and classic human drama that might tear a lesser band apart. The survivability of the animal to which Pidgeon's name bears a sonic resemblance reflects the band’s continual drawing of breath after impossible breath from the great iron lung that churns, rattles, and brings life to the noises they make together.
“Might As Well Go Eat Worms” exposes a heart crippled by grief and leads the listener through the arc of denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance derived from Freud’s work. But Freud’s dry, archaic analysis is so linear, and the process of healing so seldom yields to tracks placed in its path. Old wounds tear open, raw, bubbling, furious, crimson.
The album opens on this theme with the unrelenting intro to “Worms”. Micah’s scream is elemental, resounding in anguish, fear, and regret. Is it the cry of a broken heart or does the individual experience extend to encompass broken lands? Gentility or genocide? Can the loss of love be weighed against the loss of lives? The answer lurks in the shadows of grief.
“Kafka Does His Shopping From Home” explodes with anger from the first strike of a pick upon six sullen strings. Misery eclipses happiness, then rage submits to despondency. Is it the end of love or the end of the world? Bargaining features heavily in “Spike + Julia 4-Eva,” (a tribute to one of the greatest love stories ever told between a twice-dead bounty hunter and a somber mafiosa), and “The Valentine’s Day Massacre” (a tribute to the important parts of a roller coaster). You can’t have everything you want, and you can't want everything you have. Hopelessness permeates “Could Be The Last Time” and “Orcish Pleasure,” heralding the end of everything, be it of a world at the hands of an inept global figurehead or the end of a romance. Yet, the silvery strains of “Helpless,” suggest resolution. Suffering culminates in redemption. The claws retract. And just as the album idles to a graceful end, “Hail to the Coke Nose” erupts in renewed fury.
The emotional evolution captured in “Might As Well Go Eat Worms” is revealing of Pidgeon’s musical evolution over the past four years. Buoyed by the brilliancy of engineer, Aaron Prellwitz, (Death Cab, The Mountain Goats, Sun Kil Moon, Deerhoof), the band ascends to new heights. Micah’s screams are like hooked blades, drawing you in only to leave you eviscerated. Val’s voice conveys a confidence and depth only hinted at before. The contrast between Micah and Val’s vocals remains Pidgeon’s strongest dynamic ploy, but the band’s overall sound rages with more breadth, more weight, and more ferocity. Still a half-starved, rabid animal, but a more cunning, heavily-armed, half-starved rabid animal. Don't turn your back on them. They will kill you. Recommended!
Pidgeon - California (Is For Fuckers)
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Pidgeon @ MySpace
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