Miss Autopsy’s The Hill is a confused piece of work. One-man-band Steve Beyernik delivers punkish, bitter lyrics with the timing of a blues singer over guitar, synths, or piano. That is The Hill: instrumentals riding backseat to the songwriting. Oh yeah, there are drums on a couple of tracks, provided by Jason Garner.
Now, putting emphasis on songwriting is not such a bad thing, but the lyrics usually come off as ridiculous and make the listener wonder if this is a serious effort to tap the emotions of the listener. With lines such as “still hold my heart in my hands by the time they find me, yes/it’s a tempting way to die/ that is why I don’t have a knife” on “Telephone Song” help to concrete this assumption. To not help this, Beyernik’s voice sounds, while not sounding whiny, sounds forced at times. These elements turn whatever message The Hill is trying to convey, which could possibly be summed up by the lyrics ” I used to love this world” on the title track “The Hill,” into an awkward, confused parody. It’s the type of humor that brews inside the listener as they decide whether it’s okay to laugh.
While listening to the vocals at times can be entertaining, the instrumentals on The Hill leave much to be desired. The repetitive instrumentals stretch the songs out, molasses-like. The repetitive instrumentals seem like they try to take a minimalist approach, but they are so scarce and empty-sounding that the songs at times, as on “Let the Bodies Lie”, feel like pieces that would be performed to some coffeehouse beatniks that would chastise one for not “getting it”. Well, I don’t get it.