PILL, "Side Eye"

Post Author: JP Basileo

The staying power of a band’s early material will always warrant a reissue, but in the case of Brooklyn punk outfit Pill, so does the new. This past Friday saw the release of The Dull Tools Tapes, a new vinyl offering of the band’s 2015 debut S/T tape (side A), and their most recent cassette, Aggressive Advertising (side B), both previously released by…Dull Tools. Tapes now on vinyl. Yes. The band held a release show this past Saturday at Alphaville in Bushwick, at which they played the entirety record front to back, which meant an ordered mapping out of their progression as humans, as artists, and as a collective that knows to use its voice for the benefit of civil rights. It was a thrill to hear and see the old preface the new. Some dude in the crowd called out, “Medicine!” from the back (wrong record, bud). “Hecklers gonna heckle,” was the response.
Pill also just dropped a video for “Side Eye” (from the Aggressive Advertising side). The song comes in hot with a rapidly delayed guitar riff and a driving rhythm section that teeters back and forth between fevered anxiety and pop cool. The skronk of Ben Jaffe’s saxophone surrounds singer Veronica Torres’ incensed lyrics with a grizzly hum that’s simultaneously shrill and wholly inviting. It’s the kind of song whose instrumentation can simultaneously, and for the briefest of moments, cause you to wince, while infectiously and irresistibly breaking out into dance. Speaking of which, the visuals, co-directed by Torres and Martha Ursula Moszczynski perfectly accompany the sounds, as an always-red-clad Moszczynski performs an interpretive choreography all over a well-lit white room. Her ensemble changes, but never its color, just as her gesticulations change but never the fervor behind them, as she moves, at times erratically, at others gracefully, and at others she poses in still calm. It’s a dance of motivation and liberation, perfectly fit to the audio, especially as Torres exclaims, “They’re gonna try to not let you / Just be very persuasive.”