I am already playing catch up with the many great releases in 2016 and we are just over a month into the year! Pil & Bue are a duo from Norway and since I am a silly American, I initially thought that was their names. I am a dork! “Pil & Bue” means “bow & arrow” in Norwegian. The amazing part about this duo is that they sound much larger than just 2 people and no there aren’t a ton of overdubs to achieve their sound.
Pil & Bue are percussionist Aleksander Kostopoulos and guitarist/vocalist Petter Carlsen. Together they create a very unique sound. “Forget the Past, Let’s Worry About the Future” is a mix of post rock aesthetics with shoegaze hooks. For example, the opener “No is the Answer” sounds like Mew with a post rock slant. Kostopoulos’s choice of percussion sounds often adds that post rock sound. Think King Crimson, Jamie Muir or even Pat Mastelotto. The reason I list Kostopoulos as a percussionist is that even if he is mainly a drummer, he adds so many touches and sounds outside of a typical kit much like those two men.
The second track “Shakkakakka” is a perfect example of how both men form the Pil & Bue sound. Carlsen has an amazing voice with great range and his guitar sound is thick, all the while Kostopoulos’s frenetic playing keeps the song very interesting from a rhythm stand point. “Fire” is another showcase for the talents of each member. Urgent vocals and some great percussion make even a shorter track like this seem like an epic.
The whole album could have been a straight forward rock album because the hooks and melodies are that strong. The difference is that Pil & Bue have the talent and vision to give each track a larger and more powerful arrangement than the average band would. The closing epic “Afterlife” proves that this band could never do things in a “typical” manner. It has great atmosphere, Carlsen’s dynamic vocals and Kostopoulos’s melodic drumming.
It’s great news that Petter Carlsen has joined Long Distance Calling and I hope that he keeps Pil & Bue an ongoing project. This band has a fresh sound that quite honestly doesn’t sound exactly like everything else. “Forget the Past, Let’s Worry About the Future” is very good advice and a very dynamic album as well. Hopefully, the future is bright for these two gentlemen.
1. No is the Answer
5. Fear Flee Freeze Fight