Ill – We Are Ill


It was hot as balls today. That type of sticky hot which makes the air thicker. And there I stood folding laundry, fresh out of the dryer, at the laundromat for 3 fucking hours like an idiot (No, you wait too long to do laundry). One guy sat slumped in a chair and watched sweat drip off the end of his nose. The ceiling fan above him was set to the speed of absolutely fucking useless. Of course, I sweat through my shirt. My cotton underwear acted like a hot sponge. Even the flies collectively thought, “fuck it” and just sat nefariously rubbing their hands together instead of drunkenly buzzing toward the closest light source. Needless to say, I wasn’t in the mood to read fucking Dostoevsky. I wanted something fun, energetic, and a bit spacey. 

Enter Ill. Have you ever wondered what would happen if Joan Jett, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and The B52s decided to fuck your face with rock and roll? That’s Ill. Fuck-the-man lyrics come side-by-side with songs about space dick. Seriously, that’s a song: Space Dick. It’s track two. It’s raw. It’s rough. It’s funny. It’s made of piss and vinegar. It’s made of spite and sex. It’s the joie de vivre of fucking with whipped cream. It’s that thick luxurious essence that comes hand to hand with youth, not the inflated self-importance or the feeling of immortality, but the very nucleus of the phrase, “fuck it”. When the distorted guitar angrily blasts out power chords and the lead female vocalist shouts, I have the same feeling I had when I first heard Joan Jett and Karen O. But then harmonies and silliness come in like the style of B52s or some art-pop record. Each member is dressed in elaborate glam rock costumes that sit in the same neighbour as Ziggy Stardust. This is a band that enjoys themselves. They don’t take themselves too seriously, thus they can say whatever the fuck they want, even if it’s a childlike truth that can only come from wearing thick makeup and acting like a fucking idiot. Don’t believe in this truth? Listen to some Ziggy, then come back to me.

This isn’t a fully realized album, but it is a fully realized band. The mess of subject and content fits with what this band is. If you’re wondering why feminist and political dialogue is set beside phrases concerning sadness, which are next to inaudible screaming, which is next to songs about space dick, then you may not be in the mood for this shit. But, if you’re every sitting around sweating and angry and the fucking sun for existing, it’s a beautiful fucking album. 

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