What The Hell Do I Know?
Why would a band from Pennsylvania call themselves Illinois?
The answer is not buried within the seven tracks that make up the group’s debut album, What The Hell Do I Know?, but what you will find nestled inside of those songs are some truly outstanding examples of new music. Led by frontman Chris Archibald –who began writing and recording ideas for what would become this long EP in 2001– Illinois are a special bunch of musicians that are difficult to put a finger on. Like Beck, the band (or perhaps Archibald himself, who handles all writing duties) borrows ideas from every sound-making instrument under the sun. No guitar pedal, keyboard effect, or banjo goes unexplored.
“Nosebleed” is by far the song most worthy of being put on a mix, a Myspace page, or an ipod; choose your poison. It’s got a funky drum-machine beat, a plucking banjo instead of a guitar, and a very Jack White style of singing (so, of course I love it!). “I know what ya need/ is a good nosebleed.” It’s very White-Stripes-meets-Odelay-era-Beck, complete with the pseudo-rapping during the bridge.
Like any good introduction to a band you’ve never heard, this disc offers a varied selection of styles. From funky, to pretty, to playful it satisfies multiple palates.
Illinois has got my mouth watering and I now I want to feed.
Ace Fu Records: www.acefu.com