Pistolita’s vocalist/pianist Conor Meads didn’t waste any time getting away from his parents house. At the age of 18, he moved out of his San Diego home and took a job writing TV jingles in downtown San Diego. He moved into the attic of a recording studio, and that is where “Oliver Under The Moon” was born. Pistolita (consisting of Meads, drummer Cory Stier, guitarist Justin Shannon, and bassist Alex Kushe) is the first signing on Montalban Hotel Records, an imprint run by booking agent Andrew Ellis. “Oliver Under The Moon” is a 12-song ride through aggressive guitar work, pounding rhythms, and intimate piano notes.
“Cupid” begins the album with some gentle piano playing which leads into a rising tempo of guitars and drums. Meads’ vocals are very smooth in this song, even including some rough screams in the chorus. “Voicebox” is a mid-paced song with big-sounding chorus. The bridge is this song is very aggressive. “Big Shot” is a very fun piano-rock song. It’s definitely one of the more poppy songs on the album. “Age” begins with a menacing guitar riff backed by the pounding drums. The chorus definitely picks up this song; Meads’ voice is very biting throughout the song. “Papercut” begins with a low guitar and delicate piano playing and leads into the churning of guitars and rising vocals of the very catchy chorus. “China Dolls” is one of the slower songs on the album. It’s a good track that switches up the pace a bit on the album. The low pounding of the drums from Stier begins starts up the title track, a fast song where Meads’ voice is at its best. This is my favorite song on the album. “Metronome” is one of the faster songs on the album. It begins with some very quick piano playing and leads into crashing guitars and fast-paced drumming. On “Pity Refrain,” the guitars are booming, the drums are relentless, and the vocals are loud. The album closes with “Panic,” which begins slowly and the piano shines. Midway, the song picks up, with the band’s music trying to leave a lasting impression in your head. It’s a very good closing track and one of the best songs on the album.
Pistolita’s “Oliver Under The Moon” is a very impressive debut album. When I say that this album is “piano-rock,” do not expect something like Something Corporate. Pistolita is not as poppy and the piano doesn’t play as big as a role as SoCo’s does. What you should expect is a hard-hitting album that strays away from piano-rock clichés and the cheesy power ballads. “Oliver Under The Moon” surprised me greatly and I really enjoy this album. Don’t look over this band and this album, it definitely has the potential to be one of your favorite albums and it gets better with every listen. For those who’ll need more convincing, they’ll be playing at this year’s Bamboozle, so I definitely recommend those who will be there to check Pistolita’s set. “Oliver Under The Moon” is another very good release for the year of 2006, and Pistolita is a band that you must check out, because they just might be the next big thing.
I saw them at the bamboozle last year (they played before ATFEH, Saosin, and The Bled). I must say I was impressed with their live show. They were having audio difficulties and i still thought they hit very hard live.
The piano is not a string instrument--it is a pitched percussion instrument and Lead Singer/Piano Conor Meads exploits this to the fullest extent in their live show and on their previous EP.
I just got this CD...and I am in awe why I didnt own it earlier. Powerful songs. It reminds me a little of Bright Eyes, and a little of Vendetta Red and a little bit of something else I can't put my finger on...maybe old Hot Hot Heat (back when they were semi-screamo) Definitely some great songwriting here, and the bassist is killer.