Preaching to the Perverted

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Best-of albums are notoriously silly, for they rarely capture an entire band onto one album. It’s very hard to sum up a band’s entire sound and history into one hour.

With a band such as Pigface, it’s even more ridiculous.

Less of a band and more of a concept, Pigface was started by Martin Atkins in 1989 after a Ministry tour, with members of several bands, including Ministry, Killing Joke and Skinny Puppy, among others.

In simplest terms, it’s an industrial band. In reality, it has seen an ever-changing lineup of more than 100 people, such as Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers, Lydia Lunch and Louis Svitek of Ministry and Front Line Assembly.

And, surprisingly, Preaching to the Perverted works. Since Pigface has no set style or lineup, there is no one recording that can capture the feeling of one of its concerts. The only way to get a feel of this band is a collection of off, almost random songs.

The first album is the best-of collection, and the second disc collects remixes, unreleased tracks and live songs. The first album drags you through the group’s strange musical history, from the swaying, almost melodic “Kiss King” from New High in Low to the delightfully obnoxious “Fuck it Up” from Feels Like Heaven.

Preaching also shows off the many different people who have worked with Pigface over the years. Leslie Rankine, better known as the vocalist Ruby, sings on “Chickasaw” and “Hips, Tits, Lips, Power!” Trent Reznor adds his voice to “Suck.” The effect is almost like paging through a scrapbook, remembering who was doing what at the time.

With the varying sound of this band, remixes and live tracks are needed to give a complete picture of the Pigface’s musical range. It’s unfortunate, however, that all the live tracks are bunched together.

It is a complete, if dyslexic, compilation, capturing the feel of Pigface in all its random and changing forms. For those who don’t have the time or money to hunt down five separate albums, here it is — an album so strange, it just had to be made.

Pigface performs tonight (Wednesday, Nov. 14) at Royal Oak Theatre.

Evelyn Aschenbrenner is a Metro Times intern. E-mail comments to letters@metrotimes.com.

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