For Fans Of
Timing is everything. You only have to look at the very sport in which Puig Destroyer obtain their lyrical inspiration from to understand. Timing is the difference between a home run, which carries to the upper deck and a fly out before the warning track.
Musically, and in a transferred context, this record is not quite the musical equivalent of a home run, but it’s a solid effort nevertheless.
These passionate baseball fans with a love of Dodgers (Beat LA!) outfielder Yasiel Puig have crafted 20 tracks that progressively get better as the album plays out. That can be viewed and understood in two contexts. Firstly, the best collection of songs resides at the middle to tail-end – things get more intense and consistent towards the conclusion. Secondly, while the first listen, as a whole, is good, it’s after repeated spins on the stereo that the listener will fully appreciate the impressive delivery.
Huge points are immediately awarded for the band name. Combining baseball and grind is a novel concept and thus, needs an equally novel name. The merging of the aforementioned Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig and grind immortals Pig Destroyer is a masterstroke. Who doesn’t enjoy a good pun?!
The brainchild of Thrice drummer Riley Breckenridge, the guitars are gritty on this Puig Destroyer release, with Mike Minnick’s (Curl Up and Die) vocals on the same wavelength – opting for a denser hardcore feel. Vin Scully’s audible sampled tones greet the listener during the album’s opening. From there, we are taken on an entertaining ride that combines a baseball knowledge that is usually reserved for Cooperstown with a decent metal acumen.
‘Nobody Cares About Your Fantasy Team’ is assertive and direct in its meaning. Message received. ‘Take Damage’ includes some prominent double kick work as Minnick screams, “Back in ’98, Matheny took a fastball to the face. Spitting out teeth and blood on his way to first base.” It’s a lesson in baseball history 101. Comparatively, ‘Attrition‘ has a very Converge type beginning passage.
Puig isn’t the only player directly referenced. Concluding track ‘Mike Trout’ is, as the name specifically states, about the impressive ‘five-tools’ Angels outfielder. While the song is one of the better moments, the name itself has given the group a notoriety grind/hardcore bands could only dream of – a heavy band featured in Sports Illustrated and on MLB.com is nothing to sneeze at. Mark Trumbo gets his moment too, with ‘Trumbomb’.
This self-titled album could’ve been as painful as a Joe Buck play-by-play call, instead it’s as sweet as a San Francisco Giants World Series title.
1. Baseball: The Best
3. No One Cares About Your Fantasy Team
4. No Hitter
5. Flags Fly Forever
6. Three True Outcomes
7. Take Damage
9. Top Prospect
10. Call To The Bullpen
11. Wild Horse
13. The Road To Omaha
15. Twin Killing
16. No Pepper
17. Tommy John
18. Stealing Signs
20. Mike Trout