Pills Vs Planes
Dec 3, 1996

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Comprised of two guitarists and a drummer, Bloomington, Indiana-based trio Ativin made its debut with the 1996 Steve Albini/Carl Saff engineered Pills Versus Planes EP.

On this primarily instrumental album, the members of Ativin adeptly merge their contemporary influences (Slint, Rodan, A Minor Forest, and Gastr Del Sol) with their affinity for the classical compositions of Stravinsky, Orff, and Schoenberg.

Instantly powerful and abrasive, the opening track, "I Know One Hundred Things," is one of the few Ativin songs to feature vocals. Although the band's music would eventually evolve toward a more compositional route, Pills Versus Planes lays the blueprint of loud and soft dynamics that the band will always be known for.

It was Braid that first brought Ativin to the attention of Polyvinyl Records after a series of shows together in the Midwest.


  • 1
    I Know One Hundred Things (5:30)
  • 2
    King's Ship (5:15)
  • 3
    Mass (4:20)
  • 4
    Metallic Boy (1:17)
  • 5
    Meditational Flaws (7:23)


Ativin has created five songs on Pills Vs Planes that utilize a tension-release concept to convey themes of despair, confusion and anger. In almost every piece on Pills, one can find some glimmer of a melody or catchy interlude. It's music for contemplation or introspection.

Jonathan Cohen, Nude as the News