Something about “In Pillwood” is affectingly off-kilter. Thanks to the manic energy of Gecko Bros, this really doesn’t matter.
“In Pillwood” sees rap duo Gecko Bros (formed by Pace and Clintarelli) conquer the sound around them. The song begins with dissonant harmonies, and plays out with alternating confusion and glory as the pair try to find their footing in a skewed sonic landscape. The autotune effect applied to the vocals sounds vaguely off-key. This makes Pace’s cries of “I’m not lonely” on the hook especially jarring, calling the seemingly confident lyrics into question. There’s a serious dissonance to the tune’s overall sound. On a conceptual level this works, but it has the potential to turn some away nonetheless; however, what makes “In Pillwood” fairly remarkable is Gecko Bros attempts to break through this impedance. The whole song becomes an ebb and flow of preparation and assault, culminating in a verse so absolutely unrestrained ideas of music theory simply do not apply. Like in noise music, standards are less strongly adhered to. Gecko Bros stay anchored in place by the beat from Haaga – Clintarelli sounds especially at home amongst the otherworldly twang of Haaga’s guitar line. At any moment, though, the two sound as if they could become unchained and begin to shred the surroundings further. The battleground on which “In Pillwood” occurs is already bombed to pieces, and Gecko Bros are dancing in the remains.
That’s not to say “In Pillwood” isn’t melodic – at times it’s quite harmonious. Clintarelli’s opening verse is a solid and unaltered rap showcase, escaping or perhaps just watching the haunted antics Pace undertakes. Clint raps “In Pillwood, I don’t wanna feel no pain… when that pill hit my veins”, establishing a creepily intoxicated scene following tales of drugs, love and mystery in previous bars. He raps in clusters of hurried words, but eschews panic through a lower, calmer delivery than his comrade Pace. As mentioned, Pace handles the song’s hook, but his blisteringly fast verse in the song’s second half throws the entire soundscape into chaos. What he’s saying is less important than how he says it, crazed autotune ascents meets truly unhinged and rapid delivery, resolution by way of ear candy. It’s bewildering to hear such finesse in such an inverted and hostile region. Though their name would suggest otherwise, the presence of these two artists is nothing but chameleonic.
Listen to “In Pillwood” here.
Follow Gecko Bros on Twitter (Pace), Twitter (Clintarelli), Instagram (Pace), Instagram (Clintarelli), and Soundcloud.
– Jamie (@youngjade1216)