illScarlett – illScarlett
1.) Black Out
2.) Down For Whatever
4.) My Money
5.) Set It On Fire
7.) On My Way
8.) Rescue Me
10.) Too Late
11.) Last Night Stand
12.) Don’t Rush
The Pier Album Rating:
Release Date: September 2nd, 2014
Record Label: Infect The Masses
Official Website: illScarlett Website
Canada seems to be awakening from its period of rest in the music industry by producing some of the biggest artists in the reggae scene today. By now, we all now of Magic! who perform “Rude”. They’re from Canada. Although they are very well known around the country now, there is another Canadian band that is worthy of recognition. Their name is illScarlett, and they hail from Clarkson, Ontario. This punk rock, reggae bank, which was formed in 2001, just dropped their self-titled album a few weeks ago, and it’s quite impressive.
The first song on the album, “Black Out,” catches the listener’s attention by having a mix of the classic reggae offbeat guitar riff during the verse followed by a well crafted transition to an alternative rock chorus. The vocals on the chorus sound as if they’re from a 90’s band; like Jane’s Addiction song, “Superhero.” It’s an interesting combination of genres, and it flows extremely well. This is a great way for the band to start the album, as it gives listeners a feel for what to expect later on.
One very important aspect of this album that makes it a very good experience to listen to is the fact that it is extremely well produced. The album is actually produced by David Kahne (Sublime) & the talent is easy for the naked ear to identify.
It seems as if the band is moderately influenced by random 90’s bands at times, specifically during the song, “Down For Whatever.” During the first verse of this song, I was immediately reminded of the song, “Party Like a Rock Star,” by San Diego’s own, Sprung Monkey. At the very minimum, the structures of both songs are the same, and they have the same elements that make it unique: a lyric driven verse and a melodic catchy chorus. I’ll be clear to say that although the resemblance is there, illScarlett, if in fact the aforementioned song influenced them, managed to innovate, not imitate.
Another great song that everyone will be able to relate to is “My Money.” This song is for anyone who has ever lent money to someone who hasn’t bothered to pay up. We’ve all been there, and that’s why this song hits home. Not only are the lyrics spot on, but also the chorus features what resembles a cowbell that goes extremely well with the flow of the song.
Although the album is full of solid songs, there are some that just don’t quite earn that prestige, such as “Don’t Rush.” The chorus, which features the word “rush,” simply repeats too many times, and it’s distracting. In regards to a song that doesn’t make the musical cut, there’s “Remedy.” It’s my guess that the band decided to experiment with computerized sounds here, as the whole song sounds as if the instrumental sections are part of some retro video game. Although the sound is different than anything I’ve heard before outside of a video game, it’s not particularly a song I can take too seriously because there will always be that connection to the video game reference mentioned earlier.
Overall, illScarlett is doing what they do best in this album, which is blending elements of reggae, rock, and electronic effects to create a very enjoyable mix of songs for their fans to enjoy. illScarlett is able to successfully blend guitars, drums, electronic effects, and a variety of other unique sounds into all of their songs and none of them seem out of place. The five-year wait was well worth it, and fans should agree.
This album, however, should be considered more of a rock album with hints of reggae elements as opposed to anything else. Some songs are really heavy during some sections and at times it’s as if you’re hearing a different band while listening to the same song. It’s definitely fun experiencing this album in its entirety. The connection to a plethora of rock bands is also present, but illScarlett gives those influences a twist to produce original material. The fact that the connections were made to other artists above should not be seen as a negative characteristic of the album, but rather, as a resource to explore the origins of the band’s sources of influence.
Written & Reviewed By: Juan Barragan
[Editors Note: All reviews are reflective of the album in it’s entirety, from start to finish. These reviews are the honest opinion of each writer/reviewer expressing their feedback as a genuine fan of the music. Each star rating reflects their review of the album, NOT the band. Music is subjective. Regardless of the review or star rating, we encourage you to listen to the music yourself & form your own opinion. Spread the awareness of all music in its art & contribution]
Watch: illScarlett – “Down For Whatever”