Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Birthday - The Pillbugs (#5, 2004)

The Pillbugs do the same thing consistently - write albums crammed with '60s style hooks and melodies with plenty of psychedelic effects, and peace and love. Even though I put them at #4 Discovery of 2008 , it was actually a rediscovery. Because I'd totally forgotten about this 2004 cd, now rare & out-of-print and everything. Why this is the only Pillbugs album it's impossible to still get is kind of a mystery. It's their 3rd, very pop, with lots of strings and woodwinds and such. Maybe some record label business or something...

"Happy Birthday" from Happy Birthday (2004)

Like most Pillbugs cd's, this one has a fairly long running time (1 hour), with a huge number of songs (20). I think I'll just throw out a sampling from the album, and keep the commentary to a minimum. You either dig this kind of retro-popcraft or not... Should be able to tell fairly quickly.

"Your Taste is Mellow/Wild Bird" from Happy Birthday (2004)

I went ahead and included the first two of four "Life As It Happens" interludes that appear throughout the cd. They're the short, trippy instrumentals.

"All in Good Time" from Happy Birthday (2004)

The Pillbugs are from Toledo, OH - and bill themselves as "The World's Most Psychedelic Band." That might be stretching it a bit, but still...

"Climbing the Walls/I Wake Up" from Happy Birthday (2004)

That's about as heavy as The Pillbugs will get - the first song, not the second.

"Peasant Girls" from Happy Birthday (2004)

European fairy tales, classic American animation, and girls... ladies and gentlemen, The Pillbugs!!

"And the Days Go By/Gus of the Fire Brigade"
from Happy Birthday (2004)

The only Bowiesque song I can recall from these guys, I guess he's more '70s that '60s. "Ein zwei drei..." Towards the end of the album, so you get your "Life As It Happens Part 4." So, that's probably about half of Happy Birthday, and the other half's about the same quality. As are their other albums I've got.

Happy Birthday

Genre - Psych Pop
Official -
Myspace -
Location - Toledo, OH

Download - others on iTunes
Lala - Monclovia (pre-EWAWO best-of)
Purchase - Strictly OOP

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