I am totally shocked. This album has very few positive things to say. A couple of OK songs. Haven't even been able to bring myself to listen to it more than 3 times...... What have you done with the real levellers? Too much message, not enough thought
To be fair on the Levellers, even the greatest of music artists can occasionally turn out a real turkey. Think Morrissey's 'Kill Uncle' or Bob Dylan's 'Knocked Out Loaded'. This lamentable album seems to have been the result of the Levellers trying to go all experimental and prove a point to the music press that they were more than just a bunch of crusty folk-rockers. However experimentalism is fine when coupled with real vision, however much of 'Hello Pig' sounds like a series of weak songs being made poorer by throwing in uncommercial production quirks. The worst is 'The Weed that Killed Elvis' with its distorted vocals and monotonous feel however the rest of the album feels like mediocre filler around the Beatlesish first track 'Happy Birthday Revolution'. The latter would have been fine as a one off novelty single with maybe '61 Minutes of Pleading' as the B Side. I've no idea to whom the rest of this album would appeal. This new edition contains some unreleased tracks from the sessions; the mind boggles as to what songs rejected in favour of 'The Weed that Killed Elvis' sound like.
I like chocolate cake. I love the fact that it tastes of chocolate. If someone suddenly changed chocolate cake so that it contained dog food, I wouldn't like it any more, even if the baker told me he was "experimenting" with the recipe; it was an "evolution" of chocolate cake, or he was "trying new, innovative approaches" to chocolate cake.
Sometimes, if you like something, you don't want it to suddenly become different just for the sake of change, especially if that change tastes really bad!
Now (if you hadn't caught on...) replace "chocolate cake" with "indie-folk-punk", "dog food" with "atonal bleeping noises, weird distorted vocals and droning arrangements", and "chef" with "The Levellers" and you've got my view on this album.
It's an album for somebody, but not for people who like indie-folk-punk which, let's be honest, are the ones likely to buy Levellers albums.