Pill Fangs 2 - pre order - deluxe gatefold edition - limited press - 22nd March

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Pill Fangs 2 - pre order - deluxe gatefold edition - limited press - 22nd March

17.00

The first Pill Fangs LP was hailed by Record Collector as 'a diamond’. The reviewer said the 2017 album delivered on the talents of 'the best songwriter you've probably never heard of': Dan Haywood.

Now the British band's second offering - PF2 – which will be released by Sunstone Records on March 22nd 2019 is another multi-faceted dazzler.

Reflecting each other darkly, many of the songs’ inhabitants are short on luck and squeezed for time “my ways are the highways of your dreams not coming true // there is a long and lovely future behind you’’ and sportingly Haywood doesn’t ask them to waste a word. Two rockers on Side B clock in at less than 80 and 90 seconds apiece. But so tightly wound are the patterns from Haywood’s pen that his terse shorthand tends to unwind at length in one’s mind, to devastating effect.

The musical pace can be furious too. “In a mixing session Rob (drums) accused me of artificially speeding up a track’” Dan recounts. “What makes you think that?” “Because I can’t drum that fast”. “We were able to confirm that he could and did, at least on that take’’. 

A few songs are downtempo but the intensity never lets up, be that the crushing 10-minute melt of Up & Down You or ‘Black Country doo-wop’ confessional Hagley Village Rocker.

The louche boogie of Mushrooms in Maastricht peers into the international boudoirs of Tony and Cherie Blair. “Could you kill again?” begs Cherie, desperate for the bad old days. 

Continuing the neat guitar partnership displayed on PF1, the axes of Haywood and Richard Turner (three dimensional tanx) mesh on this record (a la their heroes Verlaine and Lloyd, Reed and Morrison, Quine and Julian) to great effect, bruising and deft by turns. Check out the interplay on Pain Inside or A-Team Get Out.

Much of the album was recorded live in a tiny studio, without baffles, often at a punishing volume. “It was fun working with Alan Gregson (veteran producer-engineer who captured Cornershop’s smash Brimful of Asha) because he was happy to let us work in whatever way felt best to us. He shared our love of going in at the deep end” says Haywood “and still it sounds remarkably fine”. 

Pill Fangs has drawn musical influence from a familiar slew of garage-rock and punk names including The Monks, The Music Machine, The Velvets, Stooges, Modern Lovers and Voidoids (Uncle Richard is in part a conversation with Richard Hell!). However, PF2 shows that the quartet is increasingly fluent in its own musical language and that Haywood’s vitriolic vocals and particularly his boldly  coruscating poetry-- make the band a highly contemporary 21st century concern with a great deal to admire at full tilt, and to unravel at leisure.

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