What does shame sound like? What sound might through your head when you can’t look yourself in the eye? Brooklyn quartet PILL aim to examine and embody such a concept on their single, “Afraid Of The Mirror,” off their new EP, Aggressive Advertising, out June 30 on Dull Tools. It’s not on any personal level, this kind of transmutation of guilt into sound, but rather, in grander societal, cultural, “scene” contexts. And it isn’t pretty. It’s agitated, it’s frantic, it’s nuts.
A can’t-slow-down drumkit pushes forward as Ben Jaffe’s shrill saxophone shrieks to high heaven, as if to verbalize, “THIS IS OUTRAGE!” It’s a debilitating suckerpunch to mass vanity and the growing sense of self-importance both in mainstream and DIY settings. The whole band howls in alternation, “Afraid of the mirror / Deliver the mirror!” while brooding, grumbling bass and super-reverberating guitar build an infrastructure just begging to be dismantled entirely. And Veronica Torres obliges. Her ever ponderous lyrics make you look within, they make a point that you should look within, and they point towards a greater people who probably could use some looking within, as she asks, “What would you do, object the image?” And, yeah. Maybe we should.