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.
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Pill’s punk is the kind where everything swirls -- like you’re caught doing laps of a roundabout at maximum speed, trying to make out the buildings from the very general blur. You eventually throw up but it’s a good story.
This album. It’s chaotic. It is a naysayer. It screeches. It traverses long swampy noise jams, gulp-shouted sermons and saxophone solos. It… rules? It rules. You could foolishly compare it to Ought, V.H.S. and Vibracathedral Orchestra in the same breath, as I did, being that fool -- but so seamlessly and messily does it combine its vitamins, its bludgeoning post-punk and freeforming jazz.
On ‘Convenience’, Pill do a hell of a lot of things. They move from the wailing discordance of “Which is True” to the palm-muted acoustics of “My Rights”, a snarled punk tune upended with sax improvisations that sound like they’re trying to chime in from next door. “Vagabond” is a stop start tune that eventually bursts into the catchiest moment of 2016 yet, with a simple, paper-traced up ‘n’ down sax/guitar riff climaxing into a raucous nonsense solo that just continues to play under the song’s next move.
It feels so contentedly oblivious, but there’s clear structure too, like the band are reacting with mimes and smirks to an objective up on the blackboard (take the talkback mumbled vox that see out “Vagabond”). The atmosphere creeps out in vignettes, in echoing sax solos that go from lowest tone to highest high, before the band jump on for a song with laid-bare melodies and hastily spliced hooks. Sometimes energy compacts records, makes them whole from their pieces, and I think that’s the case: my ears never drop out.
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