'Yes Please' from The Bills - roots tradition with a soupcon of something different(May 10, 2013)
Ordinarily, I'm no fan of reviews packed out with ‘sounds-like’ references but I have to use a few here – this band delivers a cross between traditional roots-inspired bluegrass, jazz influenced, harmony-rich folk mixed with sixties Americana (or should that be Canadana?). Whatever words you use to pigeon-hole their style among them must be ‘sparkling tunes, razor sharp musicianship and an inventive edge’ that allows them to glide cross-genre with ease. And who are they? They’re The Bills with their latest album ‘Yes Please’. And that pretty much sums up what folk will say when you ask if they want to hear The Bills.
Flirting with the gypsy-genre, intriguing with a loquacious waltz or foot-stomping with re-invented trad, these guys know how to rip out a tune or two. What you get on ‘Yes Please’ ranges from the jumping dynamism of songs like ‘Hallowed Hall’, ‘The Planet Song’ (complete with animated vocals) and ‘Blackberry, Ivy and Broom’ through the punchy beat of ‘Not The End’ and the shanty- framed ‘Pandora’s in Flames’ to the wistful contemplative tones of ‘Little Tribune’. There’s also a selection of iridescent instrumentals to enjoy including ‘After Music’, ‘Scotch Bonnet’ and the sentimental ‘Love’s Medley’.
Are you fond of roots tradition with a soupcon of something different? Then go ahead … indulge yourself and try a touch of ‘Yes Please’… it will go down well. Find them here: www.thebills.ca
The Bills on ‘Yes Please’ are Chris Frye (guitar, vocals) Marc Atkinson (mandolin, guitar, mandola, tenor banjo, fingerstyle and slide guitars, vocals) Adrian Dolan (fiddle, accordion, viola, piano, vocals) Richard Moody (violin, viola, vocals) Joey Smith (upright bass) Joby Baker (upright bass, percussion, vocals) and Oliver Swain (upright bass).
Reviewer: Tim Carroll