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Fright Pig: Out of the Barnyard

Strange band name, even stranger names for the musicians, and for some Out of the Barnyard will be an odd concept, but damn if this debut from progressive rock act Fright Pig isn't simply a hell of a lot of fun. Complete with fantastic artwork from Ed Unitsky, Out of the Barnyard is an upbeat, bold affair filled with symphonic keyboards, dazzling guitar work, and vocals that will certainly appeal to many classic prog fans.

The main culprit here calls himself Fright Pig, and he handles all the sizzling keyboard parts, and he's joined by Pig Maillion (vocals), Thumper (drums), Hogg Wilde (bass), and a crew of guitar players who go by the names of Hamm Onwry, Makon Baykon, Inna Pigsie, Pig Lee Whigli, and Ray Zorbak. It's stated in the liner notes that all the players are accomplished musicians, so my guess is that a few of them we've probably heard of before if only their true identities were revealed. Most of the songs are well crafted, dramatic, symphonic prog-rock, with tunes like "Incident at Pembroke" and "The Meaning of Dreams" pushing all the right buttons with memorable melodies and adventurous guitar & keyboard passages. "Darkest of Forms" hints at more metallic fare, and probably the closest the album comes to progressive metal, but "Presumido" also features some heavy riffs & delicate acoustic/flamenco lines from Makon Baykon.

The great thing about Fright Pig is that these guys don't really sound like any other band in recent memory, and they certainly don't mimic any of the classic acts either, save for some moments of ELP styled bombast and Peter Gabriel-ish vocals in spots. Out of the Barnyard is fun stuff, quite fulfilling if you are a prog fan, and whether they decide to carry on in this anonymous fashion (almost like prog rock's version of Swedish metal act Ghost) we can only hope for more in the very near future.

Track Listing
1) re: Creation
2) Incident at Pembroke
3) The Meaning of Dreams
4) Barque at the Lune
5) Darkest of Forms
6) Presumido
7) The Claustrophobia of Time

Added: September 30th 2013
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 5941
Language: english

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Fright Pig: Out of the Barnyard
Posted by Mark Johnson, SoT Staff Writer on 2013-09-30 11:50:33
My Score:

Imagine Roland Orzabal's, vocals emerging from deep within magical synth keyboards, "First there's nothing at all. Dreams flow, between them. Lying in repose. Destiny is close…and waits". That is what the opening to "Re: Creation" sounds like. Then the Tony Banks keyboards kick in on an unbelievable, 'must be heard' keyboard extravaganza! The keyboard sounds are some of the best of the year so far. Styx's Grand Illusion magic reborn anew. The drums, bass and lead electric guitar create a magic all their own. Power – packed prog from the get – go. This one track alone is enough of a reason to buy this album, but wait there is so much more.

"Incident at Pembroke" opens with mandolin that will take you back to "Mayhem Maybe" or some of your favorite Martin Barre interludes from any of your favorite Jethro Tull albums. Only Fright Pig extends the journey and makes it a highlight of the piece. Then, if you weren't already having enough fun, they add keyboards worthy of a Keith Emerson "Hoedown" to the mix to take this instrumental extravaganza over the edge. Finally a prog album which threatens to challenge every capacity of your music listening system. There is so much here for you to enjoy. Multiple listens will reveal multiple layers of prog goodness. Sip gently of the nectar, then let your ears gulp the power of music the way it used to be composed and performed.

With a title like "The Meaning of Dreams", you just know this will be a great song. The ELP keys at the opening do not disappoint. Who needs Dream Theater, when this sounds so new and much more magical. Pig Maillion, the lead vocalist, possesses a great mix of Mark Trueack's, (Unitopia), power, and Ray Wison's, (Genesis), finesse, mixed well with some higher notes Freddy Mercury would have been capable of achieving. There are memories of Emerson's deep organ keys, but the signature guitar work will remind you this is new and exciting prog.

"Barque at the Lune", nice title huh? Well it opens with piano worthy of a concerto. Every new twist on this journey is full of fun and magic. But the lead guitar shortly takes over and rocks this journey anew. The galloping guitar and piano meet to form that symphony of sound that seems to have vanished from prog rock in this new century. "Big man, pig man, ha, ha charade you are"...NOT! This band uncorks a full bass, drum and guitar attack that will both dazzle and amaze you.

A limitless synthesizer opus opens "Darkest of Forms". A lead electric guitar assault reminiscent of Steve Hackett ensues followed by some dark poetry reading set to magical flute that took me back to Hackett's Dark Town. However, these are signature guitar licks surrounded by those ever-present magical synth keys. The band leaves no stone unturned during this 8:28 minute epic track which is also full of some maestro level drumming and ocean deep bass. They even add some melotron tones to help take you back to some of the highlights from Genesis' Foxtrot/Nursery Cryme. Poifect! "Presumido" opens with deep and soft acoustic guitar that will simply capture your attention and never let it free. Then the power lead electric chords roar in with bass and heavy drum in tow. Prepare for an over four minute instrumental onslaught. But don't fret, they have the melotron with them. And it will soar. They finish with acoustic, almost flamenco guitar which will make you wish this track would never end.

"The Claustrophobia of Time" opens with pig and other farmyard sounds. But the spacey keys and melotron sounds will take you out of the barnyard and into the fun house of musical appreciation. Imaginative sounds that will take your ears on one of the most mind – bending prog journeys available this year. 8:29 minutes of one of the best rides of the show. Pig Maillion sings, "I ramble through the cloisters of my mind. To see and breathe the memories that I will leave behind. A flood of warmth that fills the air, my lifetime's essence everywhere. Envelope and surround me and then I close my eyes". A journey back through time but like something you have not heard for a long time. There are elements of ELO's early albums, IQ, ELP, and all the other bands I have mentioned already. Only delivered with Fright Pig's unique garnish.

Ed Unitsky's band caricature portrait of the band on stage; not included within the CD booklet, is proof that this band enjoys having fun. In fact, Ed's art helps bring the inner visions of the band to life all over the CD booklet and gatefold case.

This is already one of my favorite prog albums of the year. Giving Anima Mindi and Comedy of Errors a real run for the top spot on my favorites progressive rock albums of the year.

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