Here It Is: “Army of Cops,” the New Song by Pig Destroyer!!!
Pig Destroyer have dropped “Army of Cops,” the first single from their new album, Head Cage. If you’re like me you give zero fucks about anything else, so listen below once or twice or forty times (via the David Brodsky-directed, Allison Woest-edited music video), and then, when you’re ready, scroll down to discuss everything that’s awesome about this song.
Judas friggin’ Priest, there’s a lot to unpack here. Musically, “Army of Cops” gives you a good sense of how much bassist John Jarvis adds to the muscularity of the band’s sound (for the cheap seats — Head Cage is the band’s first album to feature a four-stringer). One might also notice the lack of blast beats from drummer Adam Jarvis (Misery Index, cousin to John), which almost makes “Cops” feel less like a grind song and more like a hardcore tune. There’s the killer guest vocals from Scott Hull’s Agoraphobic Nosebleed bandmate, Richard Johnson (also known for his work with Enemy Soil and Drugs of Faith). There’s also Hull’s guitar playing itself, but that should really go without saying.
And then there’s J.R. Hayes’ lyrics. In the past, Hayes’ poetry has been largely known for its abstract nature; rarely does it lend itself to a single, easy interpretation. This is obviously not the case with “Army of Cops,” which bluntly wears its political outrage on its sleeve:
Nobody likes our direction
Yet we don’t turn around
Could it be, that secretly
We like being kept down?
The timeliness of Hayes’ question would be self-explanatory in 2018 regardless of this week’s headlines (especially coming from a band whose name is a euphemism for ‘cop killer’), but the unlucky coincidence that we’re now engaged in an active battle for the Supreme Court only intensifies its immediacy. You can’t blame Hayes for not mincing words or dolling up his language; the thought of the U.S. becoming a fascist state has long been considered some dystopian nightmare, but it’s now coming to pass right before our very eyes (and minorities would likely argue that it’s been going on longer than even most liberals will admit). “Army of Cops” may very well be the single most relevant work of extreme music released this year; it’s the desperate, sad, vengeful, righteous protest song we need right now.
Pig Destroyer’s Head Cage comes out September 7 on Relapse. You should be rabidly excited. Pre-order it here.
Thanks: Ranpal C.