Sky-Rocket 2023

Pigs Might Fly

Southeastern England’s most adventurous duo entertain eternity with a prospect of endless possibilities.

If one wondered what our favorite steampunk pair were in for since the scope of "Mass Hysteria" saw the pandemic start and finish its sweep, the answer is here: “Pigs Might Fly” finds old friends Brendel and Dunham embracing progressive rock to rocket higher into the sky and further across the land and figure out whether the world has changed. Not that these riff-ruffians are content to remain mere observants of global affairs; Doris and Lee firmly believe in their ability to affect, or even facilitate, all things unfair to turn the wrong into the right through the positive thinking and captivating tune. Of course, there’s the duo’s patented darkness gently spread over the eleven songs on display but, covered with mellifluous melodies which initially conceal the pieces’ depth, create a stunning contrast when bright lights enter the frame.

Offering their listener to defy the concept of “never” and soar together from the album’s organ-bolstered title track onwards, the artists roll out a thickly woven magic carpet of sound, where Lee’s aggressive guitars take on orchestral guise to prepare the ground for Doris’ husky voice to creep in and sculpt a ballad out of heavy passages before delivering an infectious refrain. However, the dynamics demonstrated at the platter’s beginning – on the streamlined cosmic ride of the synthesizer-kissed histrionics “Better The Devil You Know” that’s hard not no join – will reveal a much wider amplitude once folk motifs get woven into “Fight Fire With Fire” and the astonishing finale of “White Rose” where the duo go for a delicate duet, and offset the bass rumble these are buoyed by. But while Brendel’s flageolet and vocal approach make the transparent baroque of “Ghost” in which acoustic ripples and symphonic electricity battle it out irresistibly alluring, the cabaret-styled, smoky “Good Deed Of The Day” – which her piano and Dunham’s slider spice up with a lot of gusto as though stressing the guilty pleasure the lyrics talk about – feel unexpected in such an angst-filled context.

And while the intimate pulse of “I Saw You” acquires harmonic weight to lead the audience to the charged funk of “Rock And A Hard Place” and state there’s no bad time for having fun of a frowned-upon variety, no matter what the vibrant, spirited test of the bluesy “Rorschach” may suggest, the stygian resonance should be measured in “Still Waters”: the record’s most profound epic whose emotional texture is simultaneously soul-shattering and soothing. Still, “Truth Needs No Colors” swirls around a nervous dance groove and six-string rave to steal away any complacency that could result from joie de vivre these songs often ooze. It’s a platter open to infinite possibilities, so the listener must risk a chance to dare – or treat – themselves and go on this flight.


July 24, 2023

Category(s): Reviews
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