Take an Earthquake Pill

By Chris Simmons

Music is defined by the emotional response it illicits. Popular examples like Korn and Limp Bizkit appeal to the anger of suburban kids and promise big releases in the form of a huge hook. The unleash of anger is like kicking a head: fun for some, curious and creepy for others. Yet there is another kind of songwriting that is fun without the head kick–that’s where the Earthquake Pills reside.

They recently released their new CD entitled General Happiness, which according to singer Chris Temple is not a cynical title, but an honest statement about the place of music.

"It can’t be [cynical] since its something that has a personal effect, its something that we have involved ourselves in".

The title still holds a bit of mockery when connected with the fantasy life of most mainstream music.

"That’s what I think mainstream music does for people, it’s an escape," says Temple. "It’s about the conflict of dream and reality."

This inclination to examine both the fun and the shit is seen in many of their unsettling and melodious songs. Temple’s voice makes you fondly anxious and the release never comes in "one big moment."

Certainly it’s far from the gloomy mopings of a weary soul, but it does examine the unpopular topic of how we suffer. You could just as easily hear this melancholic aspect as a happy pop song. This nice mix is done with a very tight and modest sound in the same style, but has an entirely different outcome compared, to bands such as Firehose and the Pixies. Nice sounds on a black background that really use silence behind their playing well. It’s a far cry from music that screams at you, "you’re having a good time."

The band is rounded out by Kara Keith, Steve Elaschuck and Steve Lowry who are well oriented with a very good Calgary music community.

"As well as bands, Calgary has lot of really good players," explains Elaschuck. "It isn’t a group of guys that are just excited to be on stage, they’re there to practice what they do."

In any case, Temple has a cunning backup plan besides music.

"I eventually would like to work at the Ponds Institute for moisturizing cream, it looks like a very professional scientific institute."

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