Since emerging in 1995, New Jersey band THE SPECIAL PILLOW has regularly indeed persistently played with the imagination and fascinated ears with their adventurous psych, pop and folk woven sound and records. The Mind Wipe EP is their new offering to explore, a prism of varied sound and almost mischievous enterprise and songwriting taking the senses on a summery fresh outing.
Consisting of bassist/ songwriter Dan Cuddy (ex-Hypnolovewheel), guitarist Peter Stuart (Headless Horsemen, Tryfles), drummer Eric Marc Cohen (Fly Ashtray, Autobody) and Katie Gentile (Run On) on violin and viola, THE SPECIAL PILLOW spring a dreamy engagement for the senses with the Mind Wipe EP. As we mentioned, the release casts a kaleidoscope of styles and flavours from its melodic palette and a breath which draws on varied decades of psych, rock and folk pop to weave its own especial captivation.
Red Lantern starts things off, the track an instantly absorbing slice of melodic rock with a psych rock scent to its breath. Energy and infectiousness fuel every aspect of the track, vocals and melodic threads pure invitation around firmly magnetic rhythms setting up ears and appetite perfectly for the EP’s following title track and beyond.
Mind Wipe strolls in with flirtatious hooks and movement luring rhythms, vocals as quickly and magnetically joining the party as the song wraps ears in a tapestry of evocative and smile varying sounds. It is a party of a pop song, shadows and flirtations of light woven into its character and enterprise before So Inclined wraps its melodic charms around the imagination. It is a gentle romance of sound if with growing urgency but again one eager to entangle surprise and variety in its wistful but lively stroll.
There is also a certain drama to the band’s songs, a sometimes understated but striking ingredient which is epitomised by the songs so far and certainly next up Access Denied. It is a spirited shuffle of sound and revelry, brass fanfares courtesy of Steven Levi (The Scene Is Now) and Cheryl Kingan (TSIN, 75 Dollar Bill) framing if contrasting with the frustration of technology the song lyrically vents, though in saying that the horns bear their own melancholic beauty and anxiety within their flames.
The final pair of Organic Panic and Another Tragic Chorus easily kept the pleasure flowing; the first a soulfully yet whimsical slice of instrumental intimation with the harmonic radiance of voice for extra light while the second around almost shamanic like rhythms casts a realm of dark shadows and ominous possibilities yet aligns them with a hope fluid soundscape of worldly and melodic beauty and seduction.
The EP ends on easily our favourite song but from start to finish presented an adventure which enthralled ears with the spirit bouncing though it is hard to be surprised from experience, it is THE SPECIAL PILLOW.
The Mind Wipe EP is out now; available @ https://thespecialpillow.bandcamp.com/album/mind-wipe
Pete RingMaster 07/09/2022
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