27 Pills
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27 Pills

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"HarderBeat Magazine"

27 Pills - Rated R, Metalhertz Records

27 Pills are a low-end guitar driven, somewhat heavy rock quartet, with cool song–writing abilities. Paul Souza (guitar/vocals) and Johnny James (guitar) have been putting the pieces together for this debut CD for a couple of years. After recruiting veteran drummer Jeff Taylor and bass player Shelly Blackwood, things just clicked. Rated R is a well put together CD. Ass kicker “Freak” has some great turntable scratches, while “Tunnel Vision,” with its many smooth transition tempo changes, shows off the band’s talent. It’s nice to see a group use two guitars the right way for a change. 27 Pills is heavy metal/rock but, in the end, it’s just good rock n roll.
- Angus MacMannus


"BallBuster Hard Music Magazine"

27 PILLS "Rated R" Metalhertz Records

When I heard the first song on this disc, "Freak", I thought, "Oh no, another Korn-ish band, like we need any more of those!", and proceeded to fasten my stomach belt and break out my barf bag! This song is your typical "nu metal" material (guess that's why it's to be the first single off the album), with rap-like signing, Korn/Bizkit style guitar riffs, and scratching a-plenty. However, as the album proceeded, I was pleasantly surprised to hear it do a musical U-turn. The rest of the album is simple, straight up hard rock, more in the style of Saliva, Puddle Of Mudd, or Disturbed, with no more hip hop elements (thank the heavens for that!). The music is rough, raucous, and energetic, with Paul Souza (who also sings) and Johnny James cranking out some mean guitar, and is filled with angst-ridden lyrics. The heaviest song on the album is "13 Cents", the closing track, which has a Pantera vibe to it, while the lightest tune is "The Dream Song", this one a bit more laid back. The rest of the album rocks out with balls! These guys (and girl) give it their all and deserve credit for that. Just give "Freak" a miss and you've got yourself a booty kicking rock album here! - Jonathan Mariante


"Rocknet"

Some two years ago a guy named Paul Souza contacted me and sent me his band's - then - current album. That band was Catchin' 22, and the music was raw, full of energy, loud and had tons of attitude. After that things went a bit quiet, until a while back Paul sent me another email telling me about his new band 27 Pills and the untitled (or self-titled) new album.

Though certainly still full of energy and attitude the raw edges are somewhat polished down. A new band generally means a new (or updated) sound, and if you're familiar with the Catchin' 22 album you might find some hints towards 'the old days' but I consider this a fresh and new sound.

The opening track might be a little misleading; the scratching that gives this song it's unique vibe is to be found on that track only. However, the somewhat industrial-feeling dark and heavy guitars are prominent throughout. Johnny James (who was in Catchin' 22 as well) has developed his playing into something sounding like a machine. Together with bassist Shelly Blackwood and drummer Jeff Taylor he is pounding away, the three of them lending this album its dark vibe.

Souza (I assume he's mainly responsible for the lyrics) still isn't the happiest guy on earth. The words fit the music like a glove, and - in turn - Paul Souza's voice fits that whole. Though technically not the most versatile singer, he blurts his words out in a way that you'll recognize soon enough once you're familiar with his voice.

Some might argue my view that "27 Pills", as far as I'm concerned, was a natural progression from Catchin' 22. Some may find the step too big to tag along, but I'm not the happiest person alive myself, so I'll gladly tag along with this band and their new, dark en broody sound.

And now I think I'll go and give "Transfixed" another spin. Great tune!
- Eef Vink


"Hard Rock Haven"

2003 Reviews
27 Pills "Rated-R"
Rating 7.5/10

27Pills are a quartet that pack a wallop & "Rated-R" is not a subtle CD. The formula is similar to many of the Metal bands that are popular currently. Pounding drums and bass, heavy guitar chords coupled with a hip-hop influence and topped off with some angry lyrics. Hey, if that is what people are buying I can't knock 27pills jumping on the bandwagon. However, a few things set "Rated-R" apart. The songs are far more melodic than Disturbed or Saliva and the hip-hop is less prevalent than Limp Bizkit or Linkin Park with the end result being a superior product.
The opener "Freak" delves deeper into hip-hop more so than any other song on the disc including some scratching on the turn table, but 27Pills are able to pull it off nicely. Three songs on the CD show the bands romantic side, "Transfixed", "Nevermore" and "Undone". "Transfixed" is probably the lyrical equivalent of a grade school boy throwing rocks at a girl to show his affection. But I am sure there are a few ladies that would be flattered to have a guy tell them "I'll be the fire, which feeds of your flame. Your heart beats faster each time you say my name". "Nevermore" and "Undone" discuss some rather ugly break-ups, which is not all that surprising. Perhaps the lead singer needs to deal with his own anger issues before entering a relationship.
The CD contains no throw away songs which is a breath of fresh air compared to the amount of filler on many of today's discs. My favorite tune is "The Struggle," a song about life on the road as a traveling rock band. It features a smooth groove and some audience participation at the end.
I would highly recommend purchasing this CD if you are a fan of aggressive metal. For a complete bio of the band check out there website at www.27pills.com.
- G. Maxson


"Eternal Jam"

Catchin' 22 - Can't Steal Our Spirit... (US Records)

This album starts out as run of the mill Rock and Roll, but by the third song it picks up steam and turns into a great album. Johnny James' jangling blues inflected guitar riffs really make the songs stand out. His leads on "The Greater Cause," "On To You." "Now" and "Bootlickin'" are killer. Paul Souza's voice really kicks in on the third song also. "Harder," "Now" and the excellent ballad, "Since You've Been Gone" shows his talents very well. Terrence Falton on bass and Ayman Ibrahim on drums also do a great job and round out this Canadian quartet. Take "One More Time Around" and "N.Y.C." off this album and you could have a near classic, but even with them on there, you have a damn good album. Buy this album and start at track 3
- Keith Brown


"Ballbuster Hard Music Magazine"


Coming at you hard, direct from Canada, is Catchin' 22, a band that's making a little noise and probably hoping they can catch your attention. Well, they've caught mine. Loud, proud, guitar driven rock. While some people might not rank "Can't Steal Our Spirit" among the greatest albums of all time, it surely won't be lost among the countless other releases that will fall by the wayside...with the proper promotion that is. I do have to admit that Catchin' 22 does sound a little rough around the edges. But, the strength of their songs made me look past that to the point where I have no problem saying that this is a damn fine album. It will be interesting to see how the band evolves and grows in the coming years. I, for one, would keep my eyes on 'em.
- Paul Autry


"Metalliville"

27 PILLS - Rated-R (Metalhertz - 2003) 8.5/10

I need that high a dose to sit down to this lot - that name leaves me on the edge of suspense for starters. So here we go with another, then…… Oh yes, I do believe we're talkin' here. Gravelly husky young vocals glide smoothly above mountains of crunchy modern guitar metal with a contemporary Metallica-meets-Alice in Chains feel. An unknown quantity from practically all angles,
27 Pills take Nu-breed in to the heavier, brooding end of the passageway, albeit with the echoes of the commercial side always audible.

'It's Over', 'Come To Me', 'Transfixed', 'Tunnel Vision' and 'What Got Away' are a few of the reasons pressing one into further blastings through this remarkable CD and singer Paul Souza's throat has got to have some sort of multi-function adjustment switch installed as it jumps from James Hetfield to Layne Stayley (RIP) to even quite a noticeable 80's NWOBHM rasp at not infrequent intervals. A welcome blend of old over new and vice versa, 27 Pills stand proud as another fresh metal sound with plenty pairs of ears it deserves to reach.

Good start.
- Dave Attrill


Discography

Rated-R (2003)
Freak Video on rotation @ MuchLoud + MuchMusic

Can't Steal Our Spirit (1999) as Catchin' 22

Photos

Bio

27 Pills

Here’s a band that’s been turning heads by consistently delivering their own brand of rock and assaulting anyone or anything that happens be caught in their path, with nothing short of a pure sonic blast. A successful mix of various musical influences and styles held together by four members who believe that perseverance, both on a personal and collective level, constitutes an ideal to live by.

In 1997 (Singer/Guitarist) Paul Souza and (Guitarist) Johnny James had been playing together for almost 2 years in a band called Instant Trouble but felt unhappy and limited with the direction of the music.
They both quit the band and started their own project which they named Catchin’ 22. They subsequently released their debut CD titled “Can’t Steal Our Spirit” in October of 1999 and although Catchin’ 22 did show promise, Souza & James still felt restrained and unsatisfied with the evolution of the project mostly due to creative differences within the lineup. It wasn’t until they called long time friend Jeff Taylor (Drummer) in June of 2000 that things started to fall back into place. Taylor who had been with Instant Trouble for a short period of time, recorded the Catchin’ 22 CD and was initially supposed to be part of the lineup had reluctantly left for personal reasons. “When I came back and started playing with the guys, it felt as if I had never left, like I was back home again,» says Taylor.

“After taking the road and extensively performing for more than a year we decided it was time to record new material and spent the next 6 months in pre production crafting the material that was to become our latest release simply titled Rated-R” says James. Upon entering the studio they decided to sequester themselves from the world and spent four months locked up in the studio going over every detail of the recording process to ensure that this time the CD would sound exactly has they had envisioned it and they all seem to agree that it was worth the extra effort because this time says Souza “we managed to capture the essence and energy that we are about and we’re all happy with the end result”.

But there was still a task at hand, to find a bass player that could bring these sights and sounds to the stage with the same intensity, determination and work ethic. After countless auditions and not much hope left, enters bass player Shelly Blackwood who was also at the end of her rope. “I kept getting turned down for being a girl, I wouldn’t even get to audition but destiny works in strange ways,» says Shelly. Blackwood was the missing link they had been looking for. To avoid conflict with another band with a similar name they opted to change their name to 27 Pills.

27 Pills is a band whose music and lyrics succeed in giving the simplest audience an image of energy, diversity, mayhem and uncertainty that surrounds us all. The lyrics on Rated-R are about brutal honesty, telling it like it is, “I don’t believe in sugar coating how I feel or diluting what I say to make it more politically correct” says frontman Paul Souza. This point is reinforced in tracks such as “TRANSFIXED”, “TUNNEL VISION”, “13 Cents” and the first single “FREAK”. More so every track on Rated-R paints a picture and tells a story with such intensity that listeners cant help but to take notice. So take a listen and draw your own conclusions.