This is a review of "Sandown Road" recorded by Pill Box Hat. The review was written by Sam Saunders in 2001.
This is straightforward simple soft rock from somewhere in the early 1970s. Three tracks, three slightly different grooves with an identifiable consistency. It's played well enough and the tunes are convincing. The voice is in tune and well to the front and the mix gives you a good chance to hear what the band can do. The rhythm section is efficient and unobtrusive. The guitar has its adventurous moments. Some good harmony backing vocals are grafted on for good measure.
The ambition is limited, though. If you know and like the bloke and you like his stuff, well that's fine and I can't argue. But the songs don't project beyond the anonymity of a demo CD. There are no pictures and no personal details, either on the packaging or in the lyrics. The website links to Ginsberg and Dylan but we still hear very ordinary lines like "I feel that tomorrow is just another day" "you cross the street, my what a feat" and "you've grown into a man, yet you don't understand". This is commonplace stuff, which gets clumsy when it tries to be a bit more adventurous. It sits rather oddly against the guy's obvious interest in things Dylan (the band name is an echo of a Dylan title from the late 60s). Dylan's own line about a pill box hat seems strangely relevant here "it balances on your head like a mattress sits on a bottle of wine".