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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
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Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
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Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
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Fat Possum
Beauty Pill
You Are Right to Be Afraid EP
Dischord Records

Rating: 8/10 ?

October 1, 2004
Beauty Pill released their debut EP two years ago and are releasing their first full-length album, The Unsustainable Lifestyle, later this year. You Are Right To Be Afraid is the new five-song EP from the band, and it does pretty much what you might expect that it is designed to do. It's a refresher. It's a "Hey, remember me?". It's something to sell at the merch table to tide the masses over until the real bomb drops.

And the masses need to be tided over. Beauty Pill has quite a buzz built up, partly because the band is fronted (or co-fronted, more accurately) by Chad Clark from Smart Went Crazy. Another part of the buzz is because of the band's mystique, having only released a couple of EPs since forming four years ago. But mainly the buzz is because those first releases, however short, were damn good and the band has been rocking audiences with dozens of unreleased gems that desperately deserve to see the light of day.

So while You Are Right To Be Afraid is probably just intended as a fix for the fans, there's a reason people beg for a fix. The opening track, "The Ballad Of Leron And Lele" is a bit of found sound that is a warped tropical fairy tale in which Leron, trying to impress his girlfriend Lele, climbs to the top of a papaya tree and then falls to his death. Lele, unfazed by the disaster, wanders off to find a new man. The track is almost a throwaway, but it is a perfect demonstration of the slightly disturbed sensibility with which Beauty Pill approach pop songs.

Wurlitzer-playing band member Rachel Burke trades verses with Clark on the regret-tinged "Copyists" while "Quote Devout Unquote" features a turn from her on lead vocals. The latter is the standout track of You Are Right To Be Afraid, with melodies that drift and wind wistfully, dodging staccato bursts of electric guitar and the occasional sudden drum attack. The title track is a driving pop song that takes the best elements of today's trendy garage songs and lends Beauty Pill's unique neurotic perspective to create something subtly sinister. "You, Yes You" opens with the line, "You remind of the Jackson 5/back when Michael Jackson was still alive," and sounds like a love song written by a heartbroken psychopath.

So yeah, You Are Right To Be Afraid is just a refresher. And now that I've been refreshed, I'm about to pre-order my copy of The Unsustainable Lifestyle. You should let You Are Right To Be Afraid give you your fix and then do the same.

Reviewed by Kevin Mulachy

See other reviews by Kevin Mulachy



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