Album Review: The Ills – Fuck this planet

The Ills

Fuck This Planet

Erika Ebola, Danny Dysentery, Molly Marburg, Tommy Tinnitus, Stella Salmonella; I think I’m sensing a theme here. This is definitely punk rock/hardcore straight out of the 1980s, reminiscent of the Circle Jerks, Plasmatics, and the Rezillos. One may well ask, does the world need more hardcore punk rock with track names you can’t say on the radio or TV?
Short answer: Yes. Longer answer: Punk rock at this point is beyond a sociological phenomenon of the past, and has become a vernacular folk tradition. You might as well ask if the world needs more people singing Child Ballads or “Where Have All The Flowers Gone?” It’s something that stays relevant because people keep playing it. Does it really have to drip with originality to go down well at a basement show?

The Ills are original in that these are all original songs. And they don’t waste time; the longest is 86 seconds. The curious thing about it that after the first few, that seems like a sufficient length. No Jackson Browne maundering about lost love for five minutes here. But Fuck This Planet is full of humorous ditties like “Suicidal Cheapskate” where Erika Ebola sings “fancy pills have a high price tag so I’ll stick my head in a plastic bag.”

“Where Is Regan” plays with references to “The Exorcist.” The chorus “Where is Regan/In here with us” is actually the demon’s line.”Don’t You Go” is 55 seconds that point up the connection between Erika Ebola’s singing and that of Melt Banana’s Yasuko Onuki: she has a high piping voice that’s desperate and gleeful at the same time.

So there it is: The Ills’ Fuck This Planet is nothing new, but it doesn’t matter. It’s a grimy spitball right over the plate. It’s loud, irritating music with enough snot and profanity to piss off your parents, even if they say they saw the Ramones at CBGB’s in ‘76.

This article originally appeared in Little Village issue 185.

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