Please Pray for the Pigs is a rather interesting EP. Despite what its title may suggest, it is a smooth, sleekly produced effort which feels much more experienced than pleasepleaseplease himself is. Full of both potential and genuine talent, it has the qualities to push the artist further into the minds of prospective listeners.
Opener “Villian” is a fairly tame starting point, the honeyed vocals floating between wobbling electronics and staccato keys in a way that’s seldom arresting yet always noticeable. When the drums enter the mix, alongside somewhat unrefined falsetto backing tracks, the song does feel more fleshed out, and it smartly never decides to add any needless components into the mix. Instead, an accessible mid-tempo sound is favoured, one which may lack a definitive selling point, but is something which is nevertheless reliable.
“Robber” continues with a similar sonic texture, the synth-heavy backdrop the perfect complement to pleasepleaseplease’s vulnerable, vibrato-imbued vocals. The rhythm is stronger here, the drum pads serving up a subtle groove amongst the velvety production. A slow-build, it’s a solidly performed number and one which feels much more comfortable than the preceding cut.
“500 Nightmares” does swap the rather easygoing instrumentals for a slightly more urgent, daunting soundscape, the repeating opening melody entirely brooding amidst the rawer, more freeform vocal delivery. Sure, there is still time for the signature falsetto to come out, but it feels understatedly looming, particularly with the darkened guitar riffs and occasional minor chords ever-present. To its detriment, the track does come across as slightly overlong, but when in its stride, “500 Nightmares” is a standout effort that has a charm in please’s inexperienced authenticity.
Penultimate cut “Mediploz” is a similarly contemplative effort, the spoken word vocals utilised throughout undeniably unguarded as they take centre-stage in a threadbare mix that chooses light percussion and looming bass as its main components. Sonically rich, it’s one of the highlights of the EP, and a song that draws the emotion out of the listener with relative ease. Whether or not it has enough replay value is debatable, but upon the first spin, it’s something that evidently packs plenty of resonance, especially with its deceptively eerie ending.
It’s a height that the finale “Shelter” does fail to hit, however. Although that too is emotionally raw and pregnable, the frail vocals capturing the artist’s sincere candour with aplomb, it feels a little too close to what others have done before to truly stand out. It’s not necessarily a critique, pleasepleaseplease is clearly very good at this type of track, but it lacks the originality and cutting edge to make it wholly engrossing.
Nevertheless, Please Pray for the Pigs is a methodically and meticulously produced EP that manages to succeed at balancing rawness with polish. Given this is his first crack at a short form effort, it’s clear that pleasepleaseplease is an artist with a lot of mileage, and someone who will keep growing should he continue to get more comfortable with his style.