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Pilgrim is one of the stranger success stories of 2001. Eventually hailed as "the best band to come from western Massachusetts since Dinosaur Jr.," Pilgrim was born from the deaths of several lesser-known Boston indie bands.
Originally playing with Kyle Neeson — a veteran of the Boston rock scene — on drums, the band's early recordings were less the polished rock of their subsequent career and more rough, noisy anthems, causing initial reception by labels and the public in general to be at best lukewarm. Rounding out the lineup were Matthew Cheung and David Hilowitz. The four continued to play shows around Boston for several years without recording or garnering much acclaim.
Late in the summer of 2002, Neeson left the band to pursue a career in journalism. His spot on the drumming throne was quickly claimed by former Warren Commission drummer Bryan McGrath. While not ceding any ground artistically, Pilgrim would soon manage to move into more palatable territory, causing their next batch of songs, and first "official" EP (released on the Massachusetts-based Sex Records), to be met with the across-the-board acclaim that would eventually launch them to stardom.