2004 Relapse Records
01. Why They Hate Us
02. Kiss The Pig
03. Mother’s Ruin
04. This Machine Kills Fascists MP3
06. Don’t Tread On Hope
07. Sympathy Junky
08. Platinum Pussy
09. Train Train
10. Bee’s Wax And Star Wars
On every record of their seven album career, Today Is The Day have managed to re-invent themselves and somehow deliver precisely whatever it was they were going for at the time. With even the line-ups changing quite frequently, there have always only been two constants about Today Is The Day: genius/madman Steve Austin's powerful presence and an unparalleled ability to convey the darkest of human emotions through metal. On their latest, "Kiss The Pig," the band has been reborn again, this time into a combination of drug-induced inspiration and furious speed. Supposedly inspired by Austin watching his child kiss her piggy bank, this album is a political statement about the state of American life and culture. Unfortunately, there isn't enough musical boldness to match the disc's often harsh sentiments.
This record can accurately be described as Today Is The Day with a lot more super-fast parts, something which I welcomed having not been too into the meandering nature of Sadness Will Prevail. The song-writing is certainly a lot more focused here. What caught me off-guard about this record at first was that, despite the fact that it definitely sounded like Today Is The Day, it didn't seem to possess that certain spark that my favorite TITD records have. The fast parts certainly are fast and hard, but that particular style has been previously perfected by bands like Pig Destroyer and The Locust. Despite the band's frequent claims that this is their hardest, fastest and most evil record yet, I find myself most impressed by other elements of this record.
One notable difference between this record and previous Today Is The Day material is Steve Austin's slightly different vocal approach. There are a lot more high-pitched screams than in the past, with Austin sounding somewhat like a baby being beaten severely. I suppose that is pretty evil, but it is also pretty grating. When he sticks to his typical rasp, things go smoothly. In the song "Birthright," the very high screams frequently result in me contemplating turning it off until they give way temporarily to the alternate aforementioned style. Anyone familiar with Austin's production style on either previous Today Is The Day releases or his work with Converge, Lamb Of God and others shouldn't be in for any surprises sound-wise here. The drums sound hollow, the guitars are super-distorted and the bass is chunky as hell.
Bottom Line: Much like their last release, I can really only recommend this disc to someone who is already a Today Is The Day fan. While Sadness Will Prevail's relative inaccessibility made it a frustrating listen for many, the same can be said for Kiss The Pig's often polar simplicity. Despite its good qualities, this record just lacks some of the creative spark of the band's previous releases. If you have never heard Today Is The Day and want to be blown away, pick up Temple Of The Morning Star instead. If you've got their other stuff and are looking for another pretty good album, try Kiss The Pig. You'll almost definitely enjoy it and if you don't, at least you'll have a booklet full of funny pictures of Today Is The Day holding guns.