There is a lot of talk in the world -- on this site especially -- about what is and what isnít punk. I donít believe I have the answer to what it is but Iím pretty sure I know what it isnít and thatís passive music. Punk all the way on down from the Ramones to Nation of Ulysses is something that should grab your attention and not let go until it has allowed you to be let go. Punk isnít something you idly sit back with an appletini to wait for to tickle your nuts. Tom ďPig ChampionĒ Roberts (R.I.P)í pre-Poison Idea venture, the Imperiali$t Pigs, must have known this as well and dutifully display it on their Cork Screw Pork Sword EP.
The A side here features three short and medium-fast-paced hardcore punk songs as was the style at the time. I guess it isnít entirely dissimilar to the work Pig Champion was doing with PI at the beginning of their career before they developed more of their own sound. What sets them aside from their other left coast brethren is actually vocalist Eddie Avery. Avery has a slight British inflection to his voice, which by the time hardcore punk caught on wasnít a very popular thing to do. Mind you, he could very well in fact be British and I wouldnít be able to tell you because there isnít much info on the band besides Tom.
The Imperiali$t Pigs probe the feelings of bitter disgust they have towards the world around them, using dark lyrics often filled with almost cartoonish violence. Donít get it twisted, though; the band isnít attempting to scare you with alienating tough guy imagery. They may seem kind of silly but the lyrics serve as a perfect vessel for the voice of genuinely disaffected youth and act as something far more inclusive. Take for example some lines from ďCherub FaceĒ: "I wanna jerk off right on your cherub face / then spew my semen like a human can of mace." Pig Championís lyrics efficiently translate the mixed emotions of envy and hatred an average-looking loser might have for a perfect ďcherub faceĒ pretty boy, as well as the more subtle sexual frustration toward that individual that can be woven in with those feelings.
The B-side situation is a live recording from 1981 and credit must be given to Patrick Neve on the restoration of the live tape because it really sounds almost as good as the studio recordings. That brings me to one of my few complaints about the record, which has to do with the recording of the studio tracks. The guitars, drums and bass throughout the album are generally pretty clear and well-mixed for the time but the vocals get a bit muffled and distant, especially on the aforementioned ďCherub Face.Ē
It is almost more important that music like this be released today than when it was recorded because at least back then I figure you could see what you were rebelling against pretty clearly (Jethro Tull?), but nowadays the kids are being tricked into buying into a fashionable rebellion. The release stands as another fine addition to the hardcore legacy Tom left behind. Other than that small issue with the recording the only problem is that they didnít include an insert with more info about the band. They did include a sticker however, and who doesnít like stickers? Polygamists, thatís whoÖ