Today Is the Day - _Kiss the Pig_
(Relapse, 2004)
by: Aaron McKay (7.5 out of 10)
Sauntering rather unknowingly into the Today Is the Day boot camp just a few years back at the Milwaukee MetalFest with their 1999 release of _In the Eyes of God_, Steve Austin and his clan have never strayed far from their erratic trademark style. Tipping my hat to that fact, this band has never remained satisfied or stagnant by anyone's definition. One more statement of the obvious: Today Is the Day is absolutely an acquired taste; like the mezcal worm, maybe. Gusano!?

While late in life realizing the somewhat addicting paranoia of this outfit, _Kiss the Pig_ is more of the same to pacify the monolithically frenzied disciples -- yet ratcheted up to a fever pitch. Now that is saying something for this band! Ramped up by design in an effort to outdo himself, Steve Austin added more than a few right angles that musically doubled back on themselves while going in three directions at once with _KtP_. Confusing? Yes! Interesting? Hell yea! Typically what one would expect from these guys and their vast experience on the entire scene.

Mike Rosswog from Circle of Dead Children on drums and, again, Chris Debari on bass join the fray on this new whitewashing of sanity they collectively call _KtP_. As you might expect, Mr. Austin's vocals are ever-changing. Sounding occasionally like an adolescent, whispering other times, but always developing this vocal approach as if coming from everywhere at once. The spotlight on this album seems to land squarely on Steve's communication of TItD's unabashed acrimony. "This Machine Kills Fascists" is an outstanding example of the shear danger inherent in a band able to meld atypical structure, untold aggression and militant riffing. Possibly arguments of the principles of government and political persuasion aside, the merciless sonic brutality Today Is the Day represents is what has become an industry standard for even the most disjointed in the grindcore field.

_KtP_ climaxes with a double digit track clocking in at just over twelve minutes. "Birthright" may be longer, and qualifies for an honorable mention for rolling what sounds like more than one song into a single track, it does punctuate this band's penchant for a certain definable discombobulation. Crazy like a fox. Over thirty-six minutes of punch-drunk abject dizziness, with a madman's creepy perseverance -- _Kiss the Pig_ will amaze you (again) with style, but not surprise you with novelty. But really, would you have it any other way?


(article published 12/7/2004)

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