Sunday, December 19, 2010

FROM THE ARCHIVES 4 - THE STEAM PIG - Dublin punk band (1994-2005)

LOCATION - Dublin, Ireland
RECORD LABELS - Mad Butcher, Jacinta's Offshore Holdings, Weird, Rejected, Punk Shit
ABOUT - Nasty punk band 1994-2005. Defunct.
BIOGRAPHY - Hindsight is a damning thing, it twists and turns to the memory of achievement, embarrassment, productiveness, shoddiness, squabbling, those moments when you nail it and others when everything falls apart spectacularly. In relation to The Steam Pig, all the aforementioned apply.
The Steam Pig was a Dublin based punk band which formed in 1994 out of the frag of several others that had previously been active in the toilet venues of the city centre. Named after a James McClure crime novel from 1971, the band's blueprint was one of basics - pooling our suspect and hamfisted talents in the creation of a punk band which found it's own sound and not one consciously grafted from somewhere else. The idea was to sound like a Dublin band whatever that might be and not like one from some other geographical cyst.
Eventually overcoming musical dyslexia enough to be thrown to the lions, the band did as all bands do - gigged, recorded, often made a show of themselves in public, succumbed to alcoholic idiocy and finally got their shit together to record 4 very different sounding albums, progressing and feeding into the music with a splattering of stylistic thievery.
Hooking up with Mad Butcher, a German label with a staunch anti-fascist agenda, the band released WY-ID T'D' DOUBLE-IN (1997), a collection of songs from 2 separate sessions and gigged extensively in Ireland and England until the untimely death of guitarist Godsy in late 1998. This difficult period of inactivity was one which the band may not have survived through except for the lingering air of unfinished business. The band reconvened several months later and continued as a 3 piece, driven by an incomplete second album and the positively received EP MOTORHEAD @ 5AM, released during the band's absence.
DEEP FRIED OBEDIENCE (2000) was the band's "catholic" album issued by Mad Butcher in Germany and Rejected in Ireland. This proved to be the most popular release and is generally regarded as their finest moment... although former members of the band may dispute this out of sheer bloodymindedness.
With all unfinished business cleared and a few tricks harvested along the way, the band broadened their sound, introducing elements of metal, hardcore, and progressive rock resulting in the abrasive POTSHOTS (2003). With this change, it was obvious that it did not fit with the Mad Butcher roster any more so the band created their own label, Jacinta's Offshore Holdings to release it in Ireland, approaching Punk Shit Records in Birmingham about handling English/European distribution.
This arrangement worked well and was repeated with Weird Records on board in England for the release of BASTARD UGLY EVERYTHING (2005), their most accomplished work. Directly after this, the band bowed out quietly. The sound was moving on and any further expansion would have made it unrecognisable from the band which recorded the first cassette. The work was complete and to trudge on for years and years without questioning it would have been counterproductive - 11 years is enough for any punk band.
There's a lengthy and eventful story, but it won't be put to detailed record here. Such things are generally boring from the outside and serve only as occasional nostalgic pub talk for the people concerned. 

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