Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of hearing Guelph band Bill Killionaire play several times, at several different venues. Over the last while, they’ve gone from a four or five piece band, down to two, and back up to a four piece. Singer and chief songwriter Scott Haynes and drummer Nathan Campagnaro were the whole band, for at least one show I remember. Alex Ricci (Pure Joy, Texting MacKenzie) and Dan Loughrin (Bare Claws) have come in on Bass and Lead Guitar, respectfully, to fill out the roster. The four piece spent some time recording the band’s debut EP, Loose Noon, in 2012, and released it at an event in January 2013.
Right away the opening track, Healthy Chunk, grabs you with it’s upbeat tempo. The vocals are down in the mix, meaning on the same level as the instruments. Really listen though, lyric wise, it’s a very clever song. Rather than using multiple instrument tracking and overdubs, (they could be there, but done subtly) the band uses some great vocal layering to add texture to the song. This, paired with a great guitar solo at around the 2 minute mark, make Healthy Chunk the type of song that is catchy enough to get stuck in your head (it’s been stuck in mine every morning this week), and a great opening track.
Yours & Mine is a great, straight forward, pop song and is what a second track on any album or EP should be. It is less frantic than Healthy Chunk and at no point is there any conflict or competition in Yours & Mine. This whole song just meshes together perfectly. It’s good, old-fashioned, songwriting. Yours & Mine just goes to show how talented Bill Killionaire are, they’ve created a song with perfect balance that almost EVERYBODY could like.
The BIG song on this EP is River Rat. It’s not big as in long, or the best, but big, as in dynamic. The song starts loud and noisy, settles into a groove, gets loud again, then quiets right down, to an almost A Capella chorus. The loud/quiet dynamic really brings out the talents of all four members of the band and also makes all of the parts of the song stand out on their own.
Loose Noon ends with The Windshield And The Frost. The final song of a record can be a make or break deal. There is nothing worse, to me, than an album finishing abruptly, like it’s unfinished. The Windshield And The Frost is a perfect closer. There is a certain sadness or better, desperation, behind it. When the song, and EP, is over, I’m still thinking about it. Sitting in silence. Completely satisfied.
You can stream or buy Loose Noon from Bill Killionaire on their Bandcamp page or this weekend at Kazoo! presents Legato Vipers, The Highest Order, The Skeletones Four, and Bill Killionaire.