Pig Baby (2017)
I'll admit it, I absolutely was prejudging this record based on the cover. Even after all this time, I'm always a little weirded out by pictures of the band or artist on the cover of a record. There's no rationale to this, I own an uncountable number of great records that feature some version of a band picture on the cover. For whatever reason, that doesn't stop me from wrestling with some Larry David-esque rule I have in my head that bands shouldn't do that.
Anyway, I'm happy to report that my initial trepidations about Stephen El Rey were washed away once I actually listened to this 7". I'll say this much, it's a varied 7" showcasing a lot of different things over 3 songs. Opener "Poor Born" is a messy garage-y stomper, with reverb soaked vocals that jump in and out of the song like a pumped up Jon Spencer. While not my favorite song of the three, it's an energetic intro and I'm always in favor of that.
When we move on to "Buried Under The Future," there's an immediate shift to a slower, surf tinged instrumental. A start comparison to the song before, but a nice break in the middle of the record. Things close out with "Drunk Again." This time, El Rey slows things down even more and enters that sort of low voice crooner territory that Dan Sartain once inhabited so perfectly. Now, the song does build into something bordering on a jumbled freak out at the end, but it manages to have a sort of charm that I find endearing.
In my opinion, this is one of those 7"s where each song is better than the rest. I can't say I'm completely sold on Stephen El Rey, but I would certainly be curious to see what he's able to do over the course of a full album.
Stephen El Rey - Poor Born 7":