Cliff Hillis – Love Not War
With his Love Not War EP, Cliff Hillis gives power pop fans one of the best power pop records of the year so far. Sure, it’s an EP of only 7 songs, but virtually every one is a gem.
The title track gets things off to a great start with its battlefield analogies, bouncy rhythm and bridge with ornately placed horns. “The Buddha’s Belly” is a superb bit of honky-tonk and lyrically apropos for today’s mindset.
The pace slows with “Don’t Drown The Wind” but things pick right back up with the best track on the disc, the incredibly catchy, start to finish hook entitled “Boy Downtown”. This tune will become ingrained in your psyche. “Boy Downtown” is power pop boiled down to its most basic essence. It’s just one monster hook. Hillis wrote the track, sang it and played all the instruments.
“Suicide Doors” and “Mayor of Midnight” are also winners. Start to finish, there is not a better collection of pop songs so far this year than Cliff Hillis’ Love Not War. If this is any indication of an LP to come, power pop fans are in for a real treat.
NOTE: If you’re in or around Phoenixville PA (not far from Philly), I understand that Hillis plays the Steel City Coffee House from time to time. It’s a great place to see a show and if you should be so lucky as to be there when Hillis is scheduled to perform, you’d be nuts to miss it.