The Kill Pill – Outside These City Walls EP

The Kill Pill
Outside These City Walls EP

One brand of rock that has been reinvigorated the past few years is the genre of roots/garage rock. You know, the kind of music that MC5 perfected so many years back, the kind that peeled paint as well as shattered glass. Over the years, other bands have attempted their own version of this sound, some more successfully than others. Recently, with the popularity of bands like White Stripes and The Strokes coming to a head, there have been plenty of people jumping on the bandwagon. “It’s the next big thing,” many label executives surely crooned. As is the case for any style that gets overrun with pretenders, the core supporters tend to move on. After all, if the local Hot Topics (not to mention K-Mart) has stocked its shelves full of a certain sound, chances are it has lost its edge.
There is, however, some good news for fans of lo-fi rock. There are some newcomers that have remained true to the music, using it to convey a method of emotional expression rather than for exploitation. The Kill Pill, a Chicago-based five-piece, perform a style of “throw back” rock with a level of sincerity that other recent facsimiles have yet to muster. Though they don’t necessarily break any new ground, they provide listeners with a balls-out yet intricately structured brand of old-school rock and roll so badly needed in this time of carbon-copy phonies.
The band is composed of ex- and current members of some hardcore giants: Race Traitor, Since By Man, and Kill the Slavemaster to name a few. With that said, this is by no means an excursion into the world of chugging chords and double bass. The members of the group have stepped outside the boundaries of their tried-and-true genre and used their keen sense of structure, tempo. and tune to bring together an amalgam of sounds – a sure ingredient for a successful recipe of music.
The band’s sense of melody is a strong undercurrent throughout the album. Even though they are playing a type of music that, predominantly, is raucous and raw, their level of musicianship ups the ante, providing pleasing tones underneath the distortion. This, along with their blend of influences, makes the sound all the more rich.
Even though all five songs on this release fall under the same genre, the band has taken the time to differentiate their material enough to keep things interesting. For example, “Outside These City Walls,” one of the best tracks on the EP, rocks just as fancy free as anything The Hives could come up with, yet the texture they create between verse and chorus shows elaborate song-writing that the band is capable of.
So, before passing this group off as a follower of a recent trend, pay attention to the band’s level of energy and creativity; they are a nice welcome in a mostly lackluster time for music. Fans of loud and loose rock will find much to appreciate on this EP.