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pILLOW tHEORY | Meltdown

Album review by John Powell

pILLOW tHEORY | Meltdown

When describing pILLOW tHEORY, it’s best not to use subgenres. Call them rock, because that’s what they do. They’re loud, ferocious, at times chaotic, and they have an ax to grind.

For instance, “Puppets on your knees/or pulling your strings,” singer/guitarist Kelsey Warren sings on “The Stalker”, off their EP, Meltdown. The song, starting with Kelsey chanting and the drums urging him on, the song soon unleashes into bar chord-heavy wham bam, much in the way the Foo Fighters do, not quite punk, but also never fancy. Make it loud, make it sting. The song winds around whining guitar layering, a bridge with fuzzy vocals once again chanting, panned left to right in the speakers, and a little synth laced in between the thunderous 4/4 bass and dual guitars.

The opener, “Blipsters & Bluppies” (change the ‘Bl’ to ‘H’ and ‘Y’ accordingly), claims, “I’m just busy here drinking my drink/you’re all too serious,” over start/stop grunge guitar. The chorus, “We are the last of the first to know,” sums up pILLOW tHEORY’s somewhat self-loathing qualities, a sense that nothing is good enough, and cheers of “revolution” starts the EP off like a bomb dropping.

“Warm the Blood” starts with low bass glowering beneath the words, “I’m not alone/she always ascends inside me/I want to flaunt my new flame.” Lyrically, the EP is cryptic, like here, and such sentiments are unbecoming of a band whose other songs, mainly calls to arms for rock revolution, ring truer.

Under three minutes long, “Tongue” doesn’t deliver. The fast punk drive of drum and bass sit beneath overly grimy guitar riffs and “Crash through your door, wasted.” The song feels like a white trash rip off. Feeling out of place among the other songs, it’s an indication that pILLOW tHEORY wants to branch out beyond what works.

Conversely, while “Tongue” is too raw, “Rescue” sounds like a Michael Jackson cover, at least at first. Synthy drums, wah’d out bass, and a pop-oriented melody, along with the lines, “The motion lives inside of this/and it’s everything,” are suddenly met with a chorus that’s heavy, weaving rock and near screaming. It sounds a bit like they were trying to pack too many neat ideas into one three-minute power chord anthem.

pILLOW tHEORY is on the verge of something great. Their knack for simple but effective lead guitar licks, their riveting drummer, Aaron, and the clear passion behind each song will put them on the map. This EP lacks focus, but that might be their agenda, (look how they spell their name). They’re anything but conformists, and, like I said, they rock. Hard.

Bottom line: ADD theorists are anything put pillowy, keeping things safe lyrically but exploring too deep into uncharted waters without proper research.


 

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