October 11, 2002

ill lit 'WACmusic"

To save yourself from being washed away into the sea of mediocrity, you must have something that sets you apart. Now, raise your hand if you're tired of by-the-book lo-fi indie-rock folk singers that inspire to be something greater than the worst yet well-meaning bore? I don't know if I'm alone in this sentiment or not, but I know that people like (Smog) and Cat Power and Will Oldham have seemingly scampered back into their creative cubby holes, simply because they are responsible for creating the overflowing lo-fi indie-rock-folk movement/"market."

Oddly, there's one man who quietly fused lo-fi and folk and rock and his other favorite musical styles of choice together to create a sound all his own, but he doesn't get the recognition he deserves, which is a good thing for him.

Ladies and gentlemen, give Beck his due.

Yes, Beck's ever-mutating fascination with traditional folk, blues, and country has created a sound that is truly his own, and he doesn't seem to worry about the fact that his styles often confound and conflict with his alt-rock whiteboy following. (Who really bought Midnite Vultures and didn't sell it used within a few weeks?) Beck did a smart thing when he lifted up his leg and sprayed his musical Dr.Funkenstein act with a stay-away venom to keep away those who might try to cop his style.

ill lit probably have copies of Mutations and One Foot In the Grave in their record collection
That doesn't mean that they're biting the styles created by the Man with the 808 Pelvis. They've just taken these ideas and expanded upon them. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that WACMusic is a document of a band who've stumbled onto an original sound and are experimenting with it AS WE SPEAK in order to create a more perfect masterpiece.

See, WACMusic is a country-folk record with beats and occasional moments of electronica. Right now, ill lit are "interesting" and "worth watching." They've written some very interesting songs, and their sound is, at times, the sound of Ryan Adams fronting a more melody-friendly Microphones at Grandaddy's home studio, while Mr. Ugly Casanova goes and gets the whiskey. The only complaint about WACMusic is that the most experimental moments of the record are all at the beginning of the record, and the ideas that seemed so interesting at the start seem to be left behind for country-folk. It's an above-average country-folk sound, but in the wake of great songs like "Welshratz" and "here's to the rescue," these songs seem to be a letdown.

I'm glad a band has come along to say "We're not going to take it, no we ain't gonna take it, we not gonna take it anymore!" to folk-singer slobs. WACMusic is a great debut album, and the idea of mixing electronica and folk and maybe a little bit of rap is an idea that leaves my mouth open, my lips moist, and my heart anxious.

---Joseph Kyle

No comments: