Members of the twice-defunct punk/garage-rock outfit the Bitter Pills have regrouped under a new name and with a slightly different sound. The Bitter Pills initially called it quits around 2003, then reformed in 2006 after a three-year hiatus before breaking up again in January 2009. During their initial run, the Pills were practically the house band at Pilot Light; the resurrected version played sporadically.
After the latest break, singer/guitarist/organist Nathan Moses and drummer Graham McCorkle continued to work on material before reuniting with Pills guitarist Matt Juroff. Then Israel “Izzy” Miller, who sang for the punk group the Infidels and had played bass in the most recent waning days of the Bitter Pills, filled out the lineup of their new group, the Vaygues, in November.
Even though it’s the same lineup as the final incarnation of the Bitter Pills, don’t expect the same aggressive, buzzing, throwback pop that made the Bitter Pills a local favorite in the early years of the last decade.
“It’s a different process,” Moses says of the new band’s direction. “We’re not as loud as we were before.”
“It’s more harmony-based,” Miller adds. “It’s like the Bitter Pills grew up.”
Since November, the group has cranked out 12 new original songs. “In the Bitter Pills, it was either Nathan would bring in a song or I would or we’d work out a cover,” Juroff says. “In this one, people bring in ideas and pool it all together. It’s a lot more democratic that way.”
The Vaygues still hold true to the former band’s pop sensibility, with songs that run in the two-and-a-half to three minute range. They hope to release a vinyl single through a cooperative effort with Lost and Found Records’ owner Michael Armstrong.
“We’re thinking about it,” Moses says.”We’re going to do it with Mike. He wanted to put out something. I think the time is right to do things like that because the way vinyl is right now, people pay more attention, take you more seriously.”
The Vaygues make their public debut at Pilot Light on Wednesday, March 24, with local psych-country rock band New Madrid. The show starts at 10 p.m., cover is $5, and it’s 18 and up.