Pill‘s first EP comes under Andrew Savage of Parquet Courts label Dull Tools. They fall under the same bracket of Savage’s deadpan humour and this isn’t shown more clearly than the track titles, such as ‘Psychic Nipple’ and the hilarious ‘Misty Eyed Porno Reader’. However, they are much more open to experimentation than their labelmate, dipping into feedback jams and the occasional sax solo on ‘Hotline’. They’re also a lot more volatile and this comes down to the furious playing and Veronica Torres’ vocals that sound like she’s the offspring of Kathleen Hanna, straddling the line between shouting and speak-singing. She also addresses topics in the realm of feminism on track ‘Hotline’, singing ‘I’m just another California Blonde’ and ‘You want to touch me where? / I’m younger than that’. It’s a questionably dark lyric to say, but it’s often the darker side that doesn’t get talked about and therefore gets ignored.
‘Misty Eyed Porno Reader’ is a funky post-punker with Torres singing like she’s drunk and barely there and then there’s the deadpan male vocals singing ‘Misty Eyed Porno Reader’, sounding like they’re not even breaking a smile saying it. There’s the feedback here, which is littered across every track like the first trick in the post-punk handbook. Pill are overly-reliant on the effect to create a gloomy atmosphere, like many bands. Then again, Pill do bring some originality and a drop of humour in with the obnoxious sax. On ‘Personality Flaw’ it starts with the familiar dynamic before dropping into a punk freak-out. Despite the affection for feedback and saxophone, the EP is surprisingly concise, packing in everything you need to know about Pill in under 20 minutes. If you’re into Parquet Courts’ knack for cynical and often hilarious lyrics and a Bikini Kill/Sonic Youth area of sound, this is definitely not a bad place to start.