On this heavy, solid, grittily professional follow-up to their 2006 eponymous disc, Austinites the Dirty Hearts re-create the sound of the alt-rock salad days of the early 1990s with uncanny precision. With the music divorced from historical context, the appeal of the sort of shackled punk that dominated alternative radio for half a decade is surprisingly obvious: Songs such as Pigs' raging title track and the snotty yet sensitive "Where I Come From" hit hard and square for a quintessential rock payoff. At the same time, music this humble tends to live or die by the quality of its hooks, and here, some are better than others. Probably none is classic. For those with fond memories of workhorse alternative bands like Nada Surf and the Meices, Pigs is a dose of welcome nostalgia. For the rest, it's nothing more or less than a pretty good punk album.
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