Friday, March 30, 2007

Band of the Week


Illinois "makes old loves new and the green grass grow", and that is not easy to do. However, these five men, Chris Archibald (Arch) (vocals/banjo), Martin Hoeger (bass), Andrew Lee (guitar), John Paul Kuyper (drums), and Kyle Goldbach (specialist), have actually managed to make green grass grow. The release of their first EP, What the Hell do I Know?, on Ace Fu records March 6th was exactly what the indie rock world needed to usher in spring and the green grass. This is straight up, whiskey-laced, indie-pop aggression from Bucks County, PA.

It all started while Arch and John Paul where in a band called Mad Action, and began writing song together on the side. During that time they reportedly recorded hundreds of songs together, however, this powerful EP only contains seven of those songs. The current signature sound of Illinois centers around three keys part: the banjo, vocals through the rigged up telephone, and alcohol, lots of alcohol. The banjo is an interesting element, but just Jens and his ukulele it can be easily toss aside for another sound. Listening to each track on its own you can tell that the band it trying to find its sound by looking in several directions, and for some bands that can be a problem. Yet, Illinois is inventive, interesting, and just plain fun no matter what direction they are facing or stumbling.

Back in November Arch was asked to interview some of the band playing at CMJ 2006 for Spin. Here is the result:

Screen Door (mp3) (Highly Recommended!!)
Alone Again (mp3)
Nosebleed (mp3) (check out the banjo!)
To puchase the EP go here.

For more information on Illinois visit their website or myspace.