Pill Hill Radio rocks out with pop-heavy hooks and a rootsy-type sound. The group’s self-titled album is full of hearty goodness while adding a catchy punch to their step. The band is made up of: John Rafferty on acoustic guitar, vocals & harmonicas, Mike Giugliano on drums, Tommy Casatelli on bass and Eric Stolze on electric guitars. It’s worth noting that Rafferty is the sole writer of all nine songs on the record.
Pill Hill Radio plays an astonishing 140 nights a year throughout their hometown of NY. It is said that they put on one of the wildest live shows in all of NYC and Brooklyn. Three of the members are some of NY’s finest, literally! John Rafferty is a former NYPD officer and Michael Giugliano & Tommy Casatelli are active & retired NYFD firefighters. Now it seems Pill Hill Radio is fighting hard to help better serve the listening public. Instead of putting out fires, these musicians are trying to fire up their music and their fans.
I have to say that the new album is very rich in texture and offers a lot of promise for the NY rockers. Blending rock/pop/folk made for a vibrantly fresh listen. You can actually hear the musical camaraderie between all band-mates while listening to the entire CD.
Song three, “Campfire Song”, tackles the issues Rafferty faced when splitting with his old band. The song also embarks on a sense of hope/promise in the sense that Rafferty was excited about new endeavors coming his way. John was looking at the glass as half full, not half empty on this track. Right in the middle of the album features a song titled “The Last Beauty Queen”, which offered a sense of extreme peace/tranquility to me personally. I guess this was one of those you had to be there moments when I experienced this track. As I listened, the peaceful vibe was highly evident and further enhanced as I gazed out my bedroom window. What I saw was a bright blue sky with a few hovering clouds and the motion of the trees moving from the wind. It’s hard to explain, but it seemed that right at that moment I stopped and took in life for a second. The brief day dream made me think for a minute about everything, which was pretty cool. Pill Hill Radio’s peaceful tunes definitely helped make this experience happen, so thanks guys!
Overall, Pill Hill Radio worked it out and just might find some new fans with this cut. In the words of the great Frank Sinatra, “Start spreading the news” because these New Yorkers are not leaving today. For more on Pill Hill Radio and their latest release, SKOPE out www.pillhillradio.com. A follow-up album is in the works and is set to be released around the fall of 2009, so watch out for that.
By Jimmy Rae[Rating: 4/5]