Pill Hill Radio – S/T (CD)

“Halfway” is the first track that listeners will get the chance to hear on this self-titled release, and they will immediately be buffeted with an interesting bit of country rock that is not happy with staying within the boundaries of that genre. There are nods, both subtle and obvious, to alternative rock and pop, making this introduction into something that will ensure that listeners will stick around for a good portion of this release. “Bridgette” flips the script, taking on a more straightforward rock approach. The vocals are what listeners will focus in on here, with Pill Hill Radio taking on both the Spin Doctors and Oasis here.

“Campfire Song” continues this strong trend of tracks; where the vocals continue to take a dominant position on this album, the guitar and drum work here step forward and give Pill Hill Radio their strongest track yet. Listeners will be further ratcheted into their seats with the disc’s fourth track, “Whiskey Pride”; the alt-country approach here is taken to its logical conclusion. The song here is more poppy than Lucero and Uncle Tupelo, but that is a good thing; this bit of pop influence is only part of Pill Hill Radio’s unique sound. “The Last Beauty Queen” shows a band that can make a softer and fundamentally different type of track than had been commonplace on the album up to that point. The band touches upon Warren Zevon and even Neil Young at points here, giving the track all that is needed to ensure that it will be remembered long after listeners put away this title.

“Window With A View” restores much of the previous sound to Pill Hill Radio, but even here there are different tacks taken than were present on any other track on this album. This means that “Window With A View” is more jam-band oriented, while “Scenes For Your Act” showcases the band’s love of late-eighties R.E.M.. Further listens to this self-titled album will showcase more the band’s eclectic groove; I can only imagine that a live performance would impart upon attendees a fundamentally different understanding of the nine tracks that are present here. For those listeners that can only purchase this album, they will be receiving some of the most unique (and yet approachable) music that I have had the pleasure to listen to so far this year.

Top Tracks: Bridgette, Campfire Song

Rating: 8.2/10

Pill Hill Radio – S/T / 2009 Self / 9 Tracks / http://www.pillhillradio.net

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