Pill Vinyl, CD & tapes by Pill at Norman Records

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Soft Hell

New York’s Pill cite their influences as rock ‘n’ roll legend The Big Bopper (he was on the same plane as Buddy Holly) and Ian Svenonius (Nation Of Ulysees, The Make-Up). This means for their second album, Soft Hell, you can expect a whirlwind ride from guitar and sax, melody and dark humour. The album’s oxymoron of a title references our acceptance of everyday drudgery. LP and CD on Mexican Summer.

The Dull Tools Tapes

Dull Tools, the label run by Parquet Courts's resident dilettante Andrew Savage, tends towards deceptively complex and subversive art-punk. Pill, one of the early exponents of the label’s sound, have subsequently gone on to drop music on Mexican Summer, but they’ve never forgotten where they came from. The Dull Tools Tapes collects the band’s 2015 and 2017 cassettes for DT on one slab of wax. Skronky, sludgy gems like ‘Misty-Eyed Porno Reader’ make like a stoned cartoon of Downtown Boys.

Live at Third Man Records

Brooklyn punks Pill come through with one of the most unusual and thrilling releases in the Live At Third Man Records 7” series. The live setting makes the band’s already-frenzied no wave by turns more no-ey and more wave-y. ‘Afraid of the Mirror’, for instance, pits garbled vox and sax against a thick Kraut-punk groove before slipping into a discordant shuffle reminiscent of Shopping or The Slits.


Good shouting band Pill move super-fast through embittered punk sagas along the lines of V.H.S, their guitar missives arranging counsel with a saxophone stomp that gives the record a second wind of urgency. It's one of the most expressive and exciting things you'll hear this year, is Convenience -- it's post-punk meets the mild hint of free jazz and it sounds, against all odds, very free-flowing.