Drill – “Happy Home” 7”
Flying Nun, 1994
Acquired: Love Garden Shotgun Room, Used, 2008
Sarah, Harriet, and Flying Nun. If a 7” is on that label, I’m going to buy it if it’s not too expensive. Even if it is too expensive, I’ll probably still buy it if I want it bad enough (See: That Brighter single I paid $12 for. $12! For a single! I hate to imagine what would happen if I came across a Sarah Records single I really loved). One of my favorite things about Flying Nun Records is the sort of quality guarantee you get from the crudely drawn logo on the back of the sleeve. It might not be great, but it will at least be worth a listen. The best government-backed alternative pop music you’re gonna find anywhere! With Drill, the guitars chime just the way you would expect the guitars on a Flying Nun release to chime (on the b-sides at least, the main riff sounds like hard rock played by a dude with a chin beard). They don’t rollick as much as, say, Abel Tasmans and they don’t even bother with the anthemic qualities of The Clean or the Chills. What they do is sound like is a first-generation post-grunge band pitting hard rock and indie pop against each other. “Happy Home” is tuneful, but the verses are a little menacing (with that aforementioned chin beard riff) but the choruses lighten up (with the aforementioned chiming of guitars). The end result is something dated, but also pretty good. It’s of the quality I was hoping for when I was buying 7”s for a quarter. From what I can tell, Drill released a 17 song full-length a year later which featured the three tracks here. Of the trio only vocalist/guitarist John Pitcairn released anything post-Drill (with the Letter 5 and Ballon D’Essai, both on Flying Nun natch). Finding info on Pitcairn is difficult as he shares a name with a decorated British Naval Officer who is also, I must assume, has something to do with the Pitcairn Islands (note: It was his son, Robert, who was involved with the islands. John Pitcairn was involved with the Revolutionary War! There is a famous painting of his demise!) My friend Chris got obsessed with the Pitcairn Islands many years ago. “Look!” he would say. “They had a civil war over who had the right to distill their national drink: Sweet Potato Liqueur!” “Look!” he would also say. “The internet is only available at the top of a mountain!”
Since I can't find a single Drill recording or video (their name is practically unGoogleable), here's that famous Death of Pitcairn painting. That's Johnny Pits right there, all dying and stuff.