Bitter Pills - Bitter Pills (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Bitter Pills

Bitter Pills (2010)

Boss Tuneage

Comprised of a bunch of punk lifers, Bitter Pills pick the best elements of underground music from the last 30 years and play only what they like. It pays off; their self-titled debut EP is a lo-fi fuzz monster with nods to '70s NYC punk, '80s Midwestern hardcore and '90s indie rock. The result splits the difference between late-period Hüsker Dü and the Pains of Being Pure at Heart.

Instrumental opener "Let Go to Me" lurches forward with menace and mood before going big with the catchy "Take Control." That one's the single–the verses are pretty catchy, and then the chorus just up and explodes. And they've got tambourine to let you know that things are about get fun up in here. "No Surprise" is a little slower, but it's a nice comedown in between "Take Control" and "Null Pointer". "Done Deal" and "Partisan" repeat the same tricks, but this point the formula is set. No need to mess with a good thing. The spoken word track "Kiro" curiously closes out the EP in Japanese. It's like the band turned into the Pillows all of a sudden. It's still a cool moment, though.

Bitter Pills is hopefully a signifier of better things to come, but on its own it's still a nifty document and a tour through the members' favorite records. Has Slumberland heard this yet? They might want to look into it.