ILLLs – Dark Paradise (E.P. Review)

Rating:

 

By all accounts, these two tasters from the band’s forthcoming debut EP should be as unappetising as the ice cream goo soup that adorns its sleeve. ILLLS hail from Oxford, Mississippi and though it’s tempting to lump them in with Southern garage exemplars like The Black Keys, they make quite a different kind of noisenik pop. Both records feel like a lank-haired American approximation of English post-punk influences. On Bathroom Floor, in particular, the band battens down the hatches to cope with the oncoming Anglo-rock onslaught. With its serrated guitar and rapid fire tub-thumping, the song replicates the stampede of the Banshess/ Cure in their early 80’s heyday. Somewhere in the murk of the mix, synth strings, that staple of portentous doom-pop, struggle to assert themselves. The vocals are double-tracked with an almost alien distance. It all ends up sounding like the shimmering din of My Bloody Valentine’s sonic cathedral but repositioned state side. By the time of the breakdown, rippling fretwork (is it a bass or guitar through a chorus pedal?), US alt-rock & UK indie form a stellar hybrid.  Scuzzy finesse with fangs.

Teeth’s tips the balance towards the band’s homeland. This is a lunging, swampy behemoth of a track; all insistent picking and fuzz-toned effects on the guitars.  The ramshackle, staccato bursts of noise are reminiscent of The Pixies or even a combustible Led Zeppelin. It rambles on like a haphazard composite of several different takes. Yet even amid Teeth’s slacker insouciance, fluttering pop melodies are spewed out, scattered like confetti at some inebriated college bonhomie. The video, an ill advised trip to the supermarket followed by a gross out feast of their purchases, is all good jocular fun. Thankfully, however, the band’s music is a far more palatable slop than their culinary choices.

Matthew Lindsay

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