One of the latest bands to make a stink
on the Limey side of the pond is this outfit, Pillbox. Propelled
by the force of Susan Hyatt's sultry roc k and roll voice,
Pillbox has found themselves compared to early Blondie, The
Pixies and even Garbage. I would agree with some of these
compariso ns, and would probably add a few to that list. Hyatt
also finds herself in the production role for damn near the
whole record (either alone or in part.) That's the beauty
of Pillbox. You'll find many recognizable inf luences/sounds
but what you won't find is a copy of any of them.
I could swear I hear Chrissie Hynde singing
at me when "Amsterdam" comes on. The structures are as classic
as a Pretenders tune, and her tone is too. It's easy to see
how the Pretenders influenced her...but it's not a copy. The
influence continues on "Lovesick," although Hyatt turns up
th e grit here. Hyatt gets down to the nitty-gritty on "Invasion."
Her lyr ical wit comes to light here. Witness the chorus with
its "Just cuz you fuck me doesn't mean a thing." Let's hear
it for women's lib! To addres s the Debbie Harry/Blondie comparisons,
you'll discover the tight and roc king "Don't Call Me Babe."
I hear a bit of Elastica in there too (but th ey were influenced
by her Deb-ness weren't they?) but this tune is truer to old
punk with it's brash, yet less-than-hardcore stance. I had
to do a double-take when "You Live Your Life In Third Person"
comes on...is tha t Ms. Harry? Nope, but what a classic vocal
sound! Turn up the grit and noise for the grinding "Me & My
Rhythmbox." This tune oozes sultry deli very and pelvis grinding
grooves. Do I smell sex in the room? You get a bit more swing
for your buck with "I Must Be Crazy." Her line about "I could
show you the world but you'll still want Green Acres" is a
hoot. T aking more of a pop mentality, Hyatt and company roll
off a tune that sho uld be a hit on both sides of the pond
(remember British pop is much diff erent than American pop.)
"The Mission" recalls Curve's Toni Halliday in the vocal department
with a sultry delivery that is just as tough as it is teasing.
The band reaches a dull roar behind her...not quite breaking
any noise ordinances, but keeping the thickness fully obvious.
You may also notice portions of Toni on sections of "New Year."
Overall, though, it has it's own identity and ideas. When
that bonus track comes on ("Th ey'll Never Love You") you
just may recognize it without realizing it was this band...I
Pillbox has provided us with a quite well-rounded
listening experience. Its "classic" stance is full without
being over-produced. The combinatio n of influences comes
off well and without "copying" any of them, but it' s easy
to see what Hyatt is into. Hyatt also proves herself as a
guitari st, and not just a vocalist to drool over with her
powerful progressions and rhythms. The songs are radio friendly
without being compromising...t hey don't pander to that teen
crowd. Sure, that crowd will like this stu ff, but this is
just solid song-smithing. This is a very un-assuming alb um
that will ring in your mind for quite some time and have you
coming ba ck for more.
1. Me & My Rhythmbox
3. I Must Be Crazy
4. Chronic Jack
5. Girl In The Plastic Bubble
6. Invasion (What Really Turns You On?)
7. The Most
8. Don't Call Me Babe
9. The Mission
11. You Live Your Life In Third Person
12. Right Now
13. New Year
14. The Whole World Sings
Bonus Track: They'll Never Love You (live)