"Fetish Queen"August 3, 2016 Mexican Summer
“Fetish Queen” lurches out of the gate with the jerky step and manic pace of misdirected sexual energy. The latest single from their upcoming Mexican Summer record Convenience, Pill’s “Fetish Queen” is a song that deals with the often vague flections of gender, sex and power.
The music skids like a garbage truck with no brakes, at times feeling dangerously close to shaking apart entirely. Yet, a fuzzy syncopation emerges from the sound. Benjamin Jaffe’s singularly expressive sax lays a line over the top of the track that rounds out the sharper edges. It builds a bit of a border for the underlying buzz.
By the same token, the energy here throbs, only broken as lead singer Veronica Torres’ jabs through the wail with a jagged, cracked delivery. Torres demands “are you willing?” She implores “How could I have someone else?” Both coldly express an admittance that love often hurts.
“Love serenade in a hand grenade.
Love serenade in a bondage game.”
Convenience is Pill’s debut album. Together with an EP and single, it explodes the concepts on those recordings through a field of emotional and political upheaval. Here something that makes life easier for one group of people might make life harder for another. Similarly, it’s this very skepticism of modern comfort that drives the music Pill makes; an unsettled sound that dichotomizes a tension-release dynamic that feeds upon itself.
Pill are pawns in a city which amplifies the societal curses of the day, as well as its denizens’ responses to them. Likewise, Pill’s music is one such response. It is a pulsing protest of anguish and desire clotted with arrhythmia and dissonance. A howl of freedom that is conscious of the cost of that freedom. This is a time and a place in which convenience is delivered and returned for store credit. This is a time for Pill.
Pill is Veronica Torres, Andrew Spaulding, Benjamin Jaffe, and Jonathan Campolo. In addition, they found each other in Brooklyn, NY, colliding in the city’s ever-changing DIY community. Of course, they exist along the tail of transition that has found new and worrisome traditions of marginalization in NYC.
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