Veteran rockers of the experimental and punk rock scenes BILL have released their fourth studio album, “The BILL Album.” The full-length record contains 13 original BILL tracks for an approximate total listening time of 34 minutes. It has been proudly published as an independent release without the involvement of the corporate music industry on the Grasshopper record label. Eclectic, kaleidoscopic, and more than a little brilliant, “The BILL Album” proves that after 30 years, BILL still have what it takes to draw crowds from miles away.
Boston’s BILL are perhaps most famous for their lead singer, Bill Gage, a longtime performer living with Down syndrome. Telegram.com’s Victor D. Infante writes of Bill Gage’s vocals, “As punk did in its heyday, Gage cuts straight to the heart of a song’s feeling, and in the process creates music that’s both uncomfortable and unmistakably vital.”
Ian Sands of the Boston Phoenix agrees:
“Watching Bill Gage perform with his band BILL is an eye-opening experience. You go in not knowing what to expect, maybe even a little nervous on behalf of everyone involved – the crowd, the band, yourself. But then you are witness to a sizzling and raw hard-rock display, and your reservations vanish. Gage doesn’t so much sing songs as tear through them, his vocals occasionally sounding as if they’re coming from someone twice his size. You think for sure his voice is going to give out any moment, but it never does. It’s magnificent.”
Asked to cite some main artistic influences, BILL suggest Captain Beefheart, Pere Ubu, Yoko Ono, Can, and Public Image, Ltd., Johnny Rotten’s band following the Sex Pistols. It’s this last entry which captures the energy, texture and tone of BILL best. Music fans familiar with Beefheart can expect a similarly unmistakable talent in BILL’s instrumentalists, while Yoko Ono listeners are likely to appreciate the raw artistic value of “The BILL Album.”
Uncommon in all kinds of rock is the tight focus on the frontman, Bill, himself. Guitarist John relates, “There have been times when we’ve played with a metal band, and members will be watching Bill sing in astonishment because the famous ‘cookie monster’ voice that many metal acts use is something Bill does easily, but he doesn’t do it as a quiet bass-falsetto, he just opens his voice like a Tibetan throat-singer, and it’s loud!”
This is easily heard on “MonsterRock Band,” “Pucky Pucky,” and “La-La-Lies,” among others.
This isn’t the only trick up Bill Gage’s sleeve, either. His performances have a practiced, yet improvisational quality which persists even in BILL’s studio recordings. Sometimes he speaks into the mic, sometimes shouts, sometimes croons, sometimes screams, sometimes growls, sometimes vocalizes in surprising, inimitable and indescribable ways which add to the experience of hearing BILL unlike the performance of any band member in recent memory.
Asked to describe the overall meaning of “The BILL Album,” Grasshopper Records writes, “Rock ‘n’ roll, excitement, & surprise are still alive. All people are human, with ideas & feelings that are as legitimate as anyone else’s are. People who have Down syndrome want to (& have the right to) participate in society as much as anyone else. You never know where cool music may come from. Rock ‘n’ roll is a music for and by outsiders, cast-offs, mutants, weirdos, & aliens – it is not the music of high school football captains, head cheerleaders, or wall street analysts.”
BILL are considered the first band in history to include a key member with an intellectual disability.
“BILL continue to perform around New England whenever they can,” reads their current official bio. “Just don’t ask them to play your art-gallery opening. BILL are a rock band. They are loud.”
“The BILL Album” by BILL on the Grasshopper label is available from over 600 quality digital music stores online worldwide now. Get in early, punk and experimental rock fans. Very early.
Lead Press Release Writer
“The BILL Album” by BILL –
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