War Pigs - No Hope, No Faith, No Point [7 inch] (Cover Artwork)

War Pigs

No Hope, No Faith, No Point [7 inch] (2008)

Leave 'Em

Starting a new record label is 2008 is a risky endeavor. Back in the `90s, if you wanted to start a punk label you had to get all of the bands you knew together and put out a bargain-priced compilation. Now with the music industry firmly entrenched in the digital age, CD compilations are a thing of the past. For a start-up label, this means skipping the introductory free ride on the backs of established bands and going right to putting out kick-ass releases. Leave ‘Em Records has gotten its introduction right with War Pigs' No Hope, No Faith, No Point 7" as its inaugural release.

Sure to gain initial attention by nicking their moniker from one of Black Sabbath's most enduring songs, War Pigs certainly draw some influence from their almighty namesake, but are by no means defined by it. In fact, even at only four songs, this is one of the most varied hardcore releases I've heard in long time. As most bands have one basic sound, this band seems to revel in switching gears and pulling influences from various eras of punk, hardcore, and even straight up rock and roll.

Take the first track, "Savages." Opening with a big rock riff that would sound equally at home on a Motörhead or Suicide File record as a Mötley Crüe record, it soon gives way to a straight-up fast hardcore part, before an awesome half-time groove that could be called a breakdown if it didn't have such cool guitar work and zero formulaic chug-chug aspects. It's exceedingly rare to find a band that can eschew the clichés of its genre and do something original while remaining true to its roots, but War Pigs makes it look easy.

The second side opens with a bass line reminiscent of DYS's "Wolfpack" before ripping into another fast rock and roll jam that ultimately sounds nothing like DYS. When you think you know where this band is headed they pull out something different that ends up better than expectations. More proof of this can be found in the last track, "Drag Me Down," where the rock and roll groove gets so focused that they manage to throw in some eighth note block chord piano over-top the romping guitar chord progression; it's unorthodox for sure, but it works. Who knew that piano could make something sound heavier?

A band with influences this varied and chops to boot should have something that will appeal to just about any fan of punk or hardcore. Fans of Fucked Up, Black Sabbath, the Bronx or any current hardcore bands at all should give this 7" a shot.