Buoyed by the modest success of their eponymous debut, Asphalt Ballet released this sophomore collection on Virgin Records in 1993. On Pigs, Julius Ulrich (guitars), Danny Clarke (guitars), Terry Phillips (bass), Mikki Kiner (drums), and new singer Tommy Dean made a play at musical relevance via aggro alt-rock, rather than the bluesy hard rock the group displayed a minor flair for on their 1991 debut. It's hard to imagine why a band on such poor grunge footing would try to pull off the monosyllabic song titles ("Weeds," "Pigs") and themes of teen disillusionment ("Angry Youth," "Save the Children") practiced by Seattle's finest, but Asphalt Ballet forced these and other alternative superficialities on Pigs, and the results are predictably dull. Critically panned, but enormously successful, the commercial rock practiced by the likes of Mötley Crüe, Skid Row, Bon Jovi, et al., remained wildly popular for years after its early-'80s apex, spawning countless Sunset Strip interlopers who stumbled on to the national music stage. But nothing lasts forever, and the hordes of post-Guns & Roses also-rans spent the early '90s outside the new metal party looking in, while releasing confused swan songs like Pigs.
by Vincent Jeffries