By Margaret Welsh
Pittsburgh Current Music Editor
“We can’t be sick again” is the retching opening line of “Trainwreck,” the last track on Chiller’s recent self-titled EP. The band released the 7-inch in February. But as I hear my roommate coughing downstairs (allergies, we hope), it’s an especially eerie line, summing up the dread of the past few years (at least): That sense that the next time we get sick — with a virus, or a broken arm or cancer — everything will fall apart. It’s the heaviest, slowest track on the otherwise breakneck record (and my favorite, I can’t resist hardcore with a groove!) and reminiscent of 2017’s II, the band’s hookiest, most melodic release. Chiller (also self-titled) from 2018 was a move towards something darker, flatter and more urgent. In 2020, the band has only deepened that dense aggression, and this record is like staring down a well, with only the occasional guitar squeal, or especially exciting drumline to reorient you, like a flash of sun reflected in the water. “Couldn’t see the future/and need to pull apart the past,” begins another track, “Scarecrow”: Perhaps it’s a stretch to call that a precinct description of our current national pastime, but at the very least it’s an appropriate soundtrack to the moment.