Pill, “Aggressive Advertising” [EP]

Pill
Aggressive Advertising [EP]
DULL TOOLS
7/10

Brooklyn punks Pill released their excellent first LP, Convenience, last summer, and lucky for us, they haven’t slowed down since then. Aggressive Advertising is all of seven songs and twelve minutes long, revisiting the shorter format of their 2015 self-titled debut EP. To say blink and you’ll miss it would be incorrect, though; vocalist and bassist Veronica Torres isn’t exactly a shrinking violet, and the music on Aggressive Advertising wouldn’t even know how to find the background, much less fade into it.

The album opens with “AA 1” and “AA 2,” naturally, led by Ben Jaffe’s saxophone, which is one of the most memorable things Pill has to offer. A sax is a terrible thing to waste, and in the wrong hands, it’s nauseating, but Jaffe could be the player most worthy of our time since Dana Colley of Morphine. Just like on Convenience, there isn’t a note out of place here, from Jaffe or anyone, despite how chaotic Pill can seem on the surface. These are professionals, though. When the band got together in 2014, their focus was playing as many shows as possible. That’s how and why Pill exists, and it’s clear that they’ve practiced enough to make a perfect mess.

On the record’s closer, “Piña Queen,” Torres asks, “How much fruit can you balance?” With this release, Pill reveals that they can handle more of the produce section than you thought possible. Aggressive Advertising is the perfect title for what it has to offer, serving as a sampler of sorts of Pill’s wares. Jazz influences? They’ve got those. Vocals that go from snarling to sweet? They’re in there. Driving basslines and shotgun drums? All over the place. You can try everything out before going all in with the rest of their discography (but you should do that regardless). Convenience proved they could go for longer, but Aggressive Advertising shows that they only need a few minutes to deliver something exceptional. The only downside for us is that there isn’t more of it, but now we’re just being greedy.

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