CD review written by publisher Jack Rabid and included in the prestigious Jack's Top 40 in a recent issue of The Big Takeover.

The pills
A fistful of pills
(Primary Voltage)

Boston's Pills are the particular kind of proud and loud power-pop this pen prefers. Why? Because while the foursome may have their acknowledged debts to pay to the same late '60s/early '70s touchstone rent-collectors, their hearts are much more firmly in the late '70s punk-pop and new wave and early '80s indie-garage rock that gives them their extra roundhouse punch.

This is not that weenie power-pop that's too much homage to ringing rickenbachers and signing in exalted sighs about unattainable girls, this is its smarter, cooler, old brother, the more high-octane kick-out rock 'n' roll powerpop that sings about sexual heat and passion and plays like there's no tomorrow.

See the difference? So though they can do the Beatles/Byrds/Big Star
trip like anyone, as per "Good Thing Going" here, like Teenage Fanclub, they inject it with a heavier backbeat, more full-bodied guitars, and harmonies that add real spice. You know what you're getting right from the lead track, the appropriately titled "Hang on Tight" ("This could be the ride of your life"), where they demonstrate that their thick twin-guitar roar (Dave Aaronoff and David Thompson), booming bass (Big Takeover contributor Corin Ashley), and hi-hat attacking drums (Jamie Vavra) are just as essential to their set-up as the pop-drenched melodies and Cheap Trick-esque singing.

In particular, Ashley writes and sings songs every bit as catchy as his
exalted heroes (see "Brand New Pair of Eyes," which in a just world, would be all over our radio dials daily instead of the eighth rate soul we're stuck with) and there's no way in hell we'd say that just 'cause he's a cool guy whose clearly knows his rock 'n' roll. He has to earn it, and he does. (Another ex-Big Takeover staffer, Roger Lavallee, brings the heat in the production, too.) Crunch, crunch, crunch, let this genie out of the bottle and start to munch, this is music to get panties in a bunch -- in the right kind of way. There's no need to moon over girls when they're on your arm because you kick ass. (,

--Jack Rabid


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