Pigmy Love Circus
"Fuck you!" retorts guitarist Peter Fletcher, with characteristic bluntness when asked about their famously 'uncooperative' attitude. The two-word response saying more about Pigmy Love Circus than a Behind The Music ever could.
Formed in 1987 amidst the not-so-nice streets of Los Angeles, the Pigmies honed their bruising slabs of hard-knocks rock alongside the likes of Jane's Addiction, L7, Hole & the Melvins. Three albums followed in quick succession in the early '90s, but their non-conformist, belligerent punk demeanor meant they shunned offers sign a major record deal, and the band became road dogs in the US and Europe.
Pigmy activity became sporadic as the decade wore on, with drummer Danny Carey increasingly committed to prog-rock giants Tool. Yet the Pigmy flame and legend lived on, stoked by occasional festival appearances, a cover story in the L.A. New Times and an appearance in the Hollywood rock 'n roll documentary Badsville. Then, as Tool's Laturalus tour wound down in late
2002, things started stirring in the belly of the Pigmy beast once more: PLC literally tore apart L.A.'s Garage and Spaceland clubs before demand forced a move up to the lauded Key Club on Sunset Strip. As word-of-mouth did its work, a line around the block of ardent PLC lovers rapidly formed.
The Pigmy Love Circus live experience takes you beyond mere notes, beats and words: "Big, ugly men playing extremely hard rock that does nothing but tell the truth", Fletcher lovingly coins it. PLC peddle a brutal collision of classic rock musicality and un-fettered, disenfranchised punk rage.
Fronted by the eccentric Mike Savage, a bellowing behemoth with downright unhealthy fascinations for military and gang lore (and who performs in dresses, a kilt, and utilizes all manner of disturbing props), the Pigmies slap the thick, unsightly entrails of rock 'n roll on the slab and revel in fascinated revulsion. Fletcher, Carey and bassist Shepherd Stevenson
lubricate Savage's grimly evocative working class poetry with furious instrumental dexterity and triple-barrel chanting.
Now Pigmy Love Circus have finally unleashed their first album since 1992, The Power Of Beef, the product of as-and-when recording and mixing sessions spread over two years in Carey's Hollywood loft. "There's nothing pretty about this album, that's for damn sure" grimaces Fletcher. "Tool fans will absolutely freak at the straightforward rock drummer Danny Carey is, and seasoned Pigmy fans will get the Pigs at their frothy best!" The Power Of Beef (which was produced by Carey) brings a welcome sonic articulation to the Pigmies gargantuan grooves without surrendering their signature fury.
The Pigmies have already exposed their savage opera to their largest audiences in years, as the opening act on A Perfect Circle's summer tour. But forget about all those 'veteran' tags: PLC summon a bitterness and savagery that makes younger acts cower.
Pigmy Love Circus are not hip; Pigmy Love Circus are not P.C. They are a testament to the avalanche energy of musicianship, honesty and uncompromising unity.