Album Review: Death Pill - Death Pill
Reviewed by Dan Barnes
Label mates of Shooting Daggers, whose Athames disc released last May, Death Pill is an all-female punk power trio mixing metal with punk rock and large slices of Riot Grrl attitude. Formed in 2017 by guitarist and vocalist Mariana and drummer, Anastasiya, and a revolving door of bass players until settling on Nataliya, this Ukrainian three-piece already have an EP under their collective belts, but this self-titled is the band’s first full length.
A glance at the album cover would lead you to believe you were about to listen to an all-out Punk session. The – what I’ll suggest appears to be – a disgruntled lady of the artwork is sporting Black Flag, Dead Kennedys, Misfits and Bad Religion logos – with the obligatory ACAB tattoo. And, while Death Pill does have dalliances with the Punk, it would be remiss to think that was the long and short of it.
Death Pill cite influences from Black Flag, the Distillers and the Circle Jerks and those band’s punk attitude can be heard on the likes of It’s a Joke and the sardonic, Would You Marry Me? Both songs are constructed around simple riffs and have Mariana adopting a higher pitched squeal to her vocals, giving the tracks something of an underlying innocence.
Miss Revolt and Go Your Way mix the punk attitude with a fatter, more ferocious approach that blends the sound with a more metal oriented style. Miss Revolt is filled with snapping, tortured vocals and dark, chugging riffs, while Go Your Way takes the band in a more thrashing direction.
This thrash vibe was wholly unexpected, but a revisit of the album’s sleeve suggests the logos sported by the lady in question are all of bands also cited as influences to some of the major players in the Thrash scene.
Dirty Rotten Youth starts Death Pill with a big, metallic introduction. Grinding guitars and pounding drums, alongside raw, ripping vocals create an uncompromising way to begin. Die for Vietnam, while following a more melodic approach is no less ferocious in its delivery, the alternative vocals unable to mask the chugging, dirty riffs. Kill the Traitors goes all-in with a sharp sound and an infectious chorus.
Death Pill manage to serve up a couple of less expected moments in the form of Друг [Drug] which spends it short and sweet time grooving a swinging; whereas Расцарапаю Ебало [Scratch Asshole] – dedicated to Mariana’s ex – is pissed off hardcore personified. A simple riff with a gang vocal and a ferocious and unrelenting drive.
If Death Pill, the album is representative of Death Pill, the band, then we have an abrasive new talent on our hands. It’s fast, furious and massive sounding, seeking no quarter whatsoever.
Deadlier than the male? You’d better believe it.