Saturday, April 04, 2009
FLYING PILLS- Flying Pills CD
(Mospleen Records/Compass 1999/1997)
I have a weakness for all-females bands playing heavier music than their male counterparts. It is fascinating to hear how this gentle gender are capable of churning out bottom heavy evil riffings and hitting aggressive vocal ranges. My most recent purchase is a Gallhammer CD, a Japanese all-girl sludge death metal band that paid homage to Hellhammer, Amebix and Eye Hate God. In Singapore, there's not many all-females outfit doing heavy shit, and from my hazy memories I can recall Psycho Sonique who scored it pretty big in the '90s with their energetic girly punk, and this band I am reviewing, Flying Pills, who had a sound that was later found on the exquisitely progressive art gothic metal/rock Lunarin (which technically speaking is not really an all female outfit).
Flying Pills put out an album sometime in 1999, but the material I believe was originally written in 1997. What I like about them is their big Black Sabbath (and other heavy metal) influence in their music. They also have this very free spirited sound that traverses rugged chick rock, with a voice from vocalist Zarina that is deeply soulful, accentuated expressively across a wide vocal range, especially with that painfully angry caw and tongue rollings characteristic of Tori Amos, to Alanis Morissette and The Cranberries (and later on in Lunarin as well), sounded wounded yet proudly feminist. While this is no “Jagged Little Pill”, Flying Pills evokes a rather similar passive aggressive bundle that is naked with raw emotions.
I happen to like alot “Yourself” and “Bitter Faith”, two exceptionally heavy numbers with its Black Sabbath moments. Many other tracks here are soulful hobo jangle like “Who's Innocent”, “Foolish One”, and “Riot Dame”. Their music sometimes tread a fine line away from female-fronted pub rockers, and they would probably make a fine one at that if they intend to head that way. Local releases are hard to track down due to very low amount of copies released but this Flying Pills debut is particularly one tough find although it was released only in 1999. Not to mention that this album has got a very nice silver foil logo on the mysterious black cover, which makes this a nice addition to any self respecting Singapore music collection.
--sojourner at 9:41 PM