FM Sound



The Pills -- A Fistful of Pills
By Ryan J. Fleming
Coming in November, the city of Boston will be offering a fistful of pills that are surely not hard to swallow. Boston’s own David Thompson, Corin Ashley, David Aaronoff and Jamie Vavra make up the talented group The Pills. A Fistful of Pills is the quartet’s third album release from Primary Voltage Records. With The Pills' aggressive bi-coastal touring, and a strong following with the college students and indie radio airplay, this gives them all the rights to expose to you what the group likes to call ‘amphetamine pop’.

What exactly is amphetamine pop? Listen to any of The Pills records and you shall find your definition. The band’s innate ability to transfer the electric energy from their live performances to the recording studio is something amazing and makes you yearn for more. The Pills performs around 150 concert dates a year, so it is lucid that the band has strong cohesiveness. Having said that, consider The Pills the scientists of amphetamine pop. Their formula includes: raging energy within a song, a conscious blend of rock influences from Motown to 80's punk rock, and vocal harmonies that are second to none.

A Fistful Of Pills is a collection of 13 tracks full of musical surprises. The CD opens with the track entitled Hang On Tight. A great introductory piece filled with a riveting percussion foundation, a catchy hook, and a strong sense of guitars that embrace you throughout the song. Another standout from the collection is the song titled Brand New Pair of Eyes.This song displays the band’s sense of versatility, and their influences of the various bands of the previous decades.

Rock and Roll Heart is a track that is a plea for a second chance with a particular lady that speaks to heart. With lyrics like "If it’s truly over, take some time comprehend the loss. Have our souls been saved yet?" Someone is speaking from personal experience and that is the best material for a song, with a strong guitar solo for the ending. To understand what the Pills do the best, and hear amphetamine pop at its finest, then take a listen to the tracks, Slam Book and You Could Have Kept That To Yourself.

The band slows things down with Almost Inman Square, a lush rock and roll ballad with nice harmonic structure and a jazzy bass line transition. The energy is picked back up once again with Rub My Eyes. The energy comes through so profoundly on this track, that this song could be easily could be mistaken for a live track. The bands ends the CD with the folksy/country-tinged Ballad of Don Crawford.

In summation, The Pills have something that I have never seen before in liner notes: the actual chords to each of their songs. Also the band has an well-organized and informative website which brings add-on value to The Pills name. With an overabundance of energy, top-notch musicians, and quality material, these are some pills you can say yes to.

- Ron Hart -


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