This is a review of "The Hungry Pig EP" recorded by Colin Mounsey. The review was written by Sam Saunders in 2004.
This vintage quality EP has five full-bodied songs from Colin Mounsey (aka The Hungry Pig). Colin is a recent solo arrival in Leeds as a fully-formed songwriter and performer with a lavish sense of musical adventure, having served time with Blue Planet and Anabasis.
You might catch echoes of David Bowie, Mercury Rev or Nick Cave. It's the maturity and subtlety that does that.
The basic palette is a classically-inclined and carefully considered piano with bass, drums, synthesised strings and electronic noise as required. Mounsey's voice, solo or piled up in harmonising layers, is a convincing wistful tenor with accuracy, confidence and no histrionics. Sponge Studios have done a fine job on blending it all together.
So what does it taste like?
"Drinking" sets off in mournful spirits. A gently coaxing piano and careful drumming make it romantic and defiant by turns. "I'll be gone by the time she wakes" leaves it resigned and strong.
"The girl who played God" uses the studio's slightly out of tune acoustic piano and some scary atmospheric noises to achieve that so-difficult effect of a final song that leaves an agreeable aftertaste and opens out our expectations for even more exciting things for the future. It's vividly evocative - forcing the imagination to sketch out a screenplay, a set, some people ... excellent.
In between we have "Society", "How is your Soul" and "Chase the Dragon". "Society" has an 80's pop-intelligentsia feel, with "the price is right" jammed into a busy lyric. The slick performance has light echoes of Sparks, Squeeze and Joe Jackson. It's an elegant and complex song with a slow choir-like section that leads to a big piano and strings ending. "How is your Soul" covers the spiritual side of things, with a neatly off-beat and outsider feel. "Chase the Dragon" isn't Magnum, no chance ... but it has a subtle and anxious darkness to put up against the black anger of the Beast of Bourbon's song of the same name.
This is a very impressive debut release. Another serious talent to slot in alongside Vib Gyor perhaps.