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Warpig Warpig

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1. Flaggit MP3 2. Tough Nuts 3. Melody With Balls 4. Advance in A Minor 5. Rock Star 6. Sunflight 7. U.X.I.B. 8. The Moth
2006 Relapse Records
Our score 8

by Cory
11/8/2006

I've long been of the opinion that while there certainly might be long-forgotten musical gems out there, most music ends up being loved and remembered or being lost in time for a reason. While these days moderately priced recording equipment is readily available, the sheer cost of recording an album thirty years ago made it more difficult for bands without serious backing to make a record. One of the few musical discoveries in recent years that I understand all the fawning and fuss over however, is Warpig. While their name might suggest that they were a Black Sabbath-clone, this Canadian quartet have a lot more in common with Deep Purple and Uriah Heep. This re-release of their highly sought-after 1972 album deserves not only to be heard, it deserves a place in the annals of hard rock. Following up last year's Pentagram re-issues, Relapse Records has apparently decided to revive another slab of metal history with the release of Warpig's one and only self-titled album. From the opening guitar licks and keyboard lines of "Flaggit," it's obvious that the reason this record fell into obscurity was a lack of support behind it. I say that because there's no way this record shouldn't have been huge in a time when Deep Purple, Jethro Tull and Black Sabbath were all selling records. "Tough Nuts" is another equally impressive tune that combines heavy psychedelic-rock riffing with organ to make pure gold. "Melody With Balls" bookends a few minutes of spaced-out effects-driven freakout with yet another great set of riffs and a few proggy time signature shifts. Clocking in at just over 40 minutes, the disc's eight tracks are split down the middle into a handful of briefer, more radio-oriented tracks and some extended instrumentally-guided jams. "Advance in A Minor" is a seven and a half minute keyboard-driven voyage that waxes and wanes into the album's b-side and its only hit "Rock Star." The song reached #52 on the Canadian charts in 1973. It's honestly a miracle if Eddie and Alex Van Halen weren't Warpig fans because at various points this song sounds like "Hot For Teacher" and about half of Van Halen I. Even some of Richard Donymoyer's vocals are eerily David Lee Roth-esque throughout the record. It's just the kind of song that should be playing every day on your local classic rock station between Zeppelin and Steppenwolf and unfortunately for Warpig, it just never got there. "Sunflight," a track with some of the disc's best guitar work and solos, is another psychedelic rock gem. "U.X.I.B." plays like the foil to "Advance in A Minor," this time allowing the lengthy cut to be led by some excellent soloing and Richard Donmoyer's vocals. It's got a bit of an "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" vibe to it, but Warpig take it in a different direction entirely, choosing to mix the song up rather than play on repetition. Finally, "The Moth" closes the record with the disc's most impressive drumming, with Terry Hook sounding ahead of his time for a rock drummer. Bottom Line: Relapse Records has done the music world a service by making Warpig's self-titled debut commercially available for the first time on CD. It truly is sad that this excellent band went underappreciated in their time, as I can easily imagine them standing beside Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, Black Sabbath or any other hard rock act as peers and equals had their career continued on. This record is a well-deserved revisiting and I can't imagine a "forgotten" album more worthy of the treatment. Check this out for sure.

Comments (21) post new comment
Steve_ 11/8/2006 4:36:28 PM

That's me on the bottom left of the band photo, hope you like my band.


anonymous 11/8/2006 4:41:49 PM

not even going to bother


solaceinviolence_ 11/8/2006 4:44:32 PM

awesome stuff.


Devin_ 11/8/2006 4:49:42 PM

Excellent music, shitty song titles. Ace review, Cory.


Gluck_ 11/8/2006 5:26:16 PM

wow you actually reviewed something old style! just how I like it! this band is definitely awesome and cory I now have a mancrush on u.


hotaction_ 11/8/2006 5:33:33 PM

willlll pick up


darthdeathstar_ 11/8/2006 6:48:22 PM

I just scroll down to the bottom and if the reviewer starts with a C and ends with a y I wont read it.


Coldchain_ 11/8/2006 7:09:52 PM

So....they gonna tour soon? Zuh?


wizardsbeard_ 11/8/2006 8:57:09 PM

When I first saw the cover I thought this was another one of those "ironic" "rock" bands.


weightsF0OTBALLANDSEX_ 11/8/2006 10:32:07 PM

THE f*ckING BUSHHHHH ADMINISTRATTTTTTTTTTTTTIOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THE f*ckING BUSHHHHH ADMINISTRATTTTTTTTTTTTTIOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THE f*ckING BUSHHHHH ADMINISTRATTTTTTTTTTTTTIOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THE f*ckING BUSHHHHH ADMINISTRATTTTTTTTTTTTTIOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THE f*ckING BUSHHHHH ADMINISTRATTTTTTTTTTTTTIOOOOOOO


Matt_ 11/8/2006 11:04:55 PM

cory needs an english lesson. when i see the review is from him i just read the bottom line. never heard the band but maybe ill check it out


Nowonmai_ 11/8/2006 11:34:21 PM

Relapse is a wealth of metal goodness. Something like this only reminds me I need to hit up their store on South St more often.


Cory_ 11/9/2006 12:02:24 AM

Just so we're clear on this, I'm the one that actually HAS an English degree. I'm going to go ahead and say that, while there may be some typos, my sentence structure is generally sound. If anyone's going to play grammar police, it's going to be the one who's technically qualified and I'm pretty sure that ain't you.


bigego_ 11/9/2006 12:36:36 AM

thats good sounding stuff. i dont see why people fuss about grammar. looks good to me


BlakePJ_ 11/9/2006 3:46:42 AM

ain't /e?nt/ 1. Nonstandard except in some dialects. am not; are not; is not. 2. Nonstandard. have not; has not; do not; does not; did not. [Origin: 1770–80; var. of amn't (contr. of am not) by loss of m and raising with compensatory lengthening of a; cf. aren't] —Usage note As a substitute for am not, is not, and are not in declarative sentences, ain't is more common in uneducated speech than in educated, but it occurs with some frequency in the informal speech of the educated, especial


The Truth_ 11/9/2006 4:14:01 AM

If this same album was written, recorded and released in 2006 Cory would have shit all over it. FACT.


xBurglarx_ 11/9/2006 8:58:17 AM

Cory is a huge f*cking flaggit


anonymous 11/9/2006 2:17:32 PM

no thanks


anonymous 11/9/2006 7:47:31 PM

Black Sabbath >>> theres a reason this band didn't take off.....everyone else did this 10x better. 6/10 at max......best song is Blindman


din_ 11/12/2006 9:48:03 PM

slampig>


keepthechange_ 11/20/2006 12:54:08 PM

good album, only 8 dollars off of itunes