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ILS "Pain Don't Hurt" (pogo 126)

by pogorecords

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No Luck 02:52
Northstar 02:08
Curse 03:34


All songs written by ils, dorkmusic (bmi)

Nathan Abner, g
Christopher Frey, b
Tom Glose, v
Tim Steiner, d

Recorded and engineered by Nathan Abner and Stephan Hawkes
Mixed and mastered by Stephan Hawkes

Four guys in PDX who've all been in other bands and stuff. This is what we do now. We like loud, aggressive and abrasive. We also like space, like, the place. You don't have to but it might help.


This band won the Portland trophy.

The damning force of the Pacific Northwest’s previously predictable weather systems are a torched blanket upon the rusted shopping cart of my personal identity. It all died above me at some point in the last two decades. Where mists used to turn to torrents that’d drive all but the most ruthless of us nutjobs and fuckfaces off the Portland sidewalks, now hanging ash clouds and heat wave replace our comfortably wet misery. Anyone driven to excuse their spinning head and dryly stoned exterior with seasonal affective disorder in the years previous simply assimilated into the greater mania of humanity, where rain comes as it sees fit and nothing is certain, nothing is comfortable anymore. Analgesic to the changing climes of our dry-rotting paradise exists, though, in the wealth of mangy, addled and sonically cruel independent rock music out of our formerly soaked, and occasionally frozen wastes. Prime heat fumes off the sweating mass of Portland, Oregon noise rock quartet Ils who formed whenever and with members of whoever. This is no legacy throwback or ‘members of’ parade but, a new fifteen minute punch to the braces for nerds who love the taste of their own blood in 2019.
Maybe it was the teeth on the cover or sound of crows fleeing the forest as vocalist Tom Glose (Black Elk) screamed bloody hell across the width of opener “No Luck” but I couldn’t help but think of ‘Vegas Throat’ when I fired up this admittedly heavier, aggro noise rock/post-hardcore EP. There is a journalistic fetish applied to coverage of modern noise rock that includes always mentioning The Jesus Lizard in every review of every band but the only early 90’s reference you could get away with here is maybe the screamier side of Oxbow‘s ‘Fuckfest’ and the heavier bluesy post-hardcore wretch of early Unsane (see: ‘Total Destruction’). The tendency to remember Touch & Go and Amphetamine Reptile‘s ascent as heavier than it ever was comes symptomatic of a revisionists interest in the noise rock sub-genre’s inbreeding with the full spectrum of post-hardcore. No doubt Ils belong in the same record collection as any of those moldy greats but today in the wide open plains of American rock music ‘Pain Don’t Hurt’ will tickle the millennial freakout bones of Child Bite and 400 Blows fans, alongside anyone who thought that second Black Elk record needed to focus on the ‘hook’ a bit more.
If I’m going to listen to a noise rock record for more than ten minutes it needs a bass guitar tone that holds up and Ils‘ low end comes from Christopher Frey (Porch, ex-Today is the Day) who ducks a bit in the mix, distorted just enough to remind me of Hammerhead‘s ‘Ethereal Killer’ sometimes and No Means No others. There inches a hard poke of alt-rock within as Ils trails between jagged Unsane-esque noise rock and puffs of modern post-hardcore; By the time “Northstar” and “Curse” rolled by I felt the generally wide range of expression on hand bodes well for any potential full-lengths of the future. Not only are these songs concise and memorable but the distinction between each is the work of old pros with a keen grip on balancing the heavy and the resonant. There is a wealth of easy-grooving torture seeping through the spacious rhythms of ‘Pain Don’t Hurt’ and that is to say that there is a consciousness, a breath upon the neck with both hugging arms and stabbing hands, that drives the full listen. I found myself reconsidering the pretense of Quicksand‘s recent outer-spaced grooves as I listened to this and saw its core melted down and molded into bassy post-hardcorish tirade, a black-belching of whatever mucosal plug blocks the filth center of the brain.
I felt anguish and absurdism above any spectacular gimmickry, at least, and for that I can recommend Ils‘ debut release. Even without considering the great potential of this project as a whole I can celebrate how full-range this EP comes as a sharp introduction to the world of noise rock. Highly recommended and among my favorite releases of the last several months. For preview the duo of “Northstar” and “Curse” is a brilliant introduction to the band’s sound but I found myself really bought into the dynamic of “It’s Not Lard But It’s A Cyst”.

"Pain Don't Hurt" is the debut album of the Portland band: "Ils", presented in December 2018. A noise rock metal project, composed of 4 musicians, Nathan Abner on guitar, Christopher Frey on bass, Tom Glose on vocals and Tim Steiner on drums, which makes strangeness and acoustic experimentation the main line of the 5 tracks featured in this EP.
It opens "No Luck" introduced by a rolled and a groomed of growl alternating with a very punk hardcore stylistic song. The style is not very clear, it goes from a bad impression, with metal references, to a slow and repetitive step that recalls the sludge rock genre. The second track, "it's not a But it's A Cyst" doesn't change much compared to the first, rather paradoxically it seems the continuation of the same song if it wasn't for the opening pause and the riffs present in the last seconds of the piece. "NorthStar" is rather repetitive and leaves me, initially, with a feeling of emptiness, like an unfinished job. Subsequently, and after a more accurate listening immersion, he enters his head better and becomes more catchy. The fourth song "Curse" is listenable even if I continue to be bored by repetitive rhythms. In any case, it offers some nice ideas in which to linger and with respect to the previous ones we say that it is more friendly and easy to impress. Closes the work "For the Shame i Bring", the most extreme of the Album. Introduced by screams in inhuman growls and sluggish, aggressive and gloomy musical phrasing that alternate throughout the length of the piece, this last track represents the rabid and marching theme of the entire album and is by far my favorite. While admitting to not particularly love a musical genre that paradoxically clashes against all others, (as it completely disintegrates the most well-known and listened to metal and rock sound lines) I must admit that I am struck by the courage with which some musicians, even of a certain thickness, they manage to create works out of the ordinary and certainly not easy to launch in the current music market. "Pain Don't Hurt" is absolutely not an album for everyone, I'd be lying if I said the opposite but surely you can't argue about the message that our four want to give with these five tracks, maybe a little too tight, to the world of rock alternative and niche. Unprejudiced and transgressive, they are presented, supported by a label that in the field certainly does not need presentations (Pogo records) with this EP that I hope will be an introduction to an upcoming more laborious and captivating complete album. However, I recommend listening to those who like to follow the off-piste and the bumpy road rather than the paved road and certainly to the aficionados of the genre.

My long experience with Heavy Metal Heaven and Alternative Rock Heaven has taught me, among other things, that there are two types of bands. There are those who are easy to include in this or that kind without fear of making mistakes; and then there are those that are difficult or even impossible to place, given the number of different influences or the complexity of their music. To this second category also belongs the group of today, the Ils from Portland, Oregon: despite hundreds of plays on their debut EP Pain Don’t Hurt, I still don't understand what genre they play. There is certainly an alternative metal component that often flows into the nu (with the singer Tom Glose who often sings rapping, although in his case it doesn't bother me like so many others) and more rarely in metalcore elements. And then there is a sludge metal component, which gives the whole a more dirty and muddy tone; many other influences push towards the same goal, ranging from post-hardcore to noise, passing through the most advanced avant-garde. Also for this reason, at times the music of Pain Don’t Hurt seems a bit random, especially at the level of structure; this however is not a problem for the Ils, who manage to make everything work very well even so. Their talent is already remarkable: it allows them to already have a good mastery, and to manage their elements well; the Americans succeed in it while appearing a little bitter. In particular, at times Pain Don’t Hurt seems a little amateur: sometimes the Ils tend to get lost behind their many time changes and the desire to amaze at all costs. In addition, the EP suffers from a few recording problems: very dirty, as a basement, there may also be a first EP, but nevertheless enhances the sound of the band. But in the end, neither of the two defects affects too much: Pain Don’t Hurt is the classic case in which the heart can go beyond the flaws, certainly a great start for a young band like the Ils.
A brief roll of Tim Steiner, then we find ourselves immediately in the shapeless beginning of No Luck. It is a chaos from which after a few seconds the basic riff emerges, lowered and powerful, halfway between metalcore sounds and something even more extreme. At times the Ils abandon him for a lighter norm, with hip hop veins and at times the voice of Glose typical of nu metal; more often though these openings are also powerful, with a nice riff of great impact, with a sludge aftertaste. There is little else apart from a central fraction a little more open and melodic: however, it too integrates well in a short but intense piece, one of the peaks of the disc that opens in the best way! But the air does not change much with It’s Not Lard But It’s a Cyst, threatening right away with its riff almost coarse, but of great impact. Immediately the band develops it in a dissonant sense, with metalcore and post-hardcore influences that make it distressing, along with the singer's voice, very loud here. The choruses, on the other hand, are more musical: even behind them they have harmonizations, which make them even intense - which makes the contrast with the other soul excellent. The dualism then reunites in the final, at once oblique but melodic: it is strange, but more than suitable to close the second of the best pieces of Pain Don’t Hurt! The next Northstar starts almost hesitating, but already with its basic riff which then explodes with sludge force, very powerful and angry. The song is more or less the whole thing: it alternates anxious and zigzagging moments with heavier and more aggressive ones, always varying on the same basis. Only in the end the Ils leave aside this norm for a more muddy but always fierce and chaotic: it is a closure of good impact for a piece perhaps a little too redundant, especially at the beginning, but otherwise of more than decent quality .
With Curse, the American band abandons the confusing tones heard so far on the record for something more linear, even melodious. You can already feel it in the intro, distorted and strident but with a certain musicality: it then develops best when the piece goes live. The basic riff is in fact doomy and very harmonious, Nathan Abner's guitar creates a desolate but welcoming panorama, mogio, without great ferocity, and Steiner's rhythm this time is slow and straight. And even when the piece increases a little voltage it doesn't change much: if it is true that the singer uses the scream, behind him stand melodies that almost resemble post-metal. Even better is the quarter of trocar, even more expanded thanks to space keyboards, which give the whole a more distant, alienated tone. It is the icing on the cake of an excellent piece of hers already, not among the absolute peaks of Pain Don’t Hurt but not far away! The latter is now running out: for the occasion the Ils choose For the Shame I Bring, which is a bit the synthesis of what was heard before it. At the beginning it is beautiful and arrembante, to command is the wickedness that is released by the overflowing riffs of Abner and the shouts of Glose. At times, however, this rule detaches on more expanded passages, which would like to be at the same time dark and intense; unfortunately, neither intent is very good. Fortunately, the most powerful soul goes on for longer: it does not impress, but its role plays it at least discreetly. The picture ends with a finish that is almost expanded at the beginning, but then becomes powerful and cosmic: it is the best of a nice but not essential piece, by far the least beautiful of the closing EP!
Finally, Pain Don’t Hurt is a great job, especially considering that the Ils are young and just beginning. Obviously, if the US band wants to express their full potential, there is still a lot of work to be done to grow and overcome the flaws. But if the quartet engages, we will certainly hear about them again: perhaps they will never break through, given how niche their style is, but they could become at least a great underground name!

Sounds like: Peeling your lips right back and saying “AAAARGGHHHHH”
This is some seriously nasty shit.
I’m not sure about you, but that EP cover makes me feel uneasy. I’m reminded of Stephen King’s Chattery Teeth story from Nightmares & Dreamscapes. Ils (pronounced “ilz”) are a four piece from Portland, signed to French label Pogo Records and Pain Don’t Hurt is their first EP and it’s an ugly and disturbing racket.
On the opening mangle of No Luck, it sounds as if several drills are being plunged into a guitar in some savage, Hostel-esque torture horror. When the bass kicks in, it’s a huge nod to the slovenly grind of Unsane and then the vocals cut through the airwaves. A snarling, almost black-metal screech of throat-stripping pain snaps at the air, before it twists into this gruff, hollow nu-metal sneer. Initial thoughts were that Ils were a dual-vocalist mob, but video evidence clarifies that one voice-box is going through this caterwauling process of depravity.
There’s a fraction of melody existing in the chorus on the stomach-retching thunder of It’s Not Lard But It’s A Cyst, as the bass thumps and pounds along this ever-disjointed guitar line and scraping noise-rock squeal. “It just doesn’t matter, the girl’s got a mohawk” is uttered on the swaggering crunch of Northstar – a furious 2 minute blast of circle-pitting, old-school hardcore mayhem and crust-punk fury.
The tweaking guitar plucks at the beginning of Curse bring to mind the incessant beeping on Stag Party by Cherubs, and the intimidating, vocal shouts and gargling snarls as it begins to grow and grow in hostility will set your teeth on edge. That grinding guitar shriek punctuates in and out of this track like wild, scathing laughter. The turbulent closing roar of For The Shame I Bring sums up Pain Don’t Hurt and conjures up moments of early Converge, mixed with the scraping, detuned wail of Whores venting all their bottled up frustrations to the world.
Ils wear their distaste for all to see. They’re not here to make friends, more infect you with their brand of rabid, caustic hardcore. A biting and twisted debut EP, overflowing with malice and the gnashing of teeth.
You can download Pain Don’t Hurt for name your price below. Ooh, gravy!

"ILS is a hardcore band from France. Their album, Pain Don't Hurt, was released by Pogo Records on January 2, 2019.
My Impressions:
This is a brutal, heavy take on hardcore punk rock music.
The drums are tribal.
The production is advanced.
The vocalist sounds American but is clearly French. The lyrics are in English but are still fairly indecipherable.
What I hear here is a band that spent an enormous amount of time honing their sound and getting themselves as tight as possible, but who essentially are treading water.
Ils a difficult thing to reinvent the wheel of metal.
None the less these guys put something together than is clearly patiently assembled and intentional.
That's more than most heavy bands accomplish."

Ils, ou la nouvelle sensation noise rock.
Originaire de Portland, la formation se compose de Nathan Abner à la guitare, Christopher Frey à la basse et aux backing vocals, Tom Glose au chant et Tim Steiner à la batterie. Ces quatre loustics ne sont pas des débutants, Christopher Frey ayant notamment évolué dans les excellents groupes Porch et Today Is The Day en tant que bassiste et aux backing vocals.
J’annonce donc ce nouveau groupe comme la nouvelle sensation noise rock et je pèse mes mots tant ce premier EP m’a bluffé. Bravo au label français POGO Records d’avoir déniché Ils (prononcé "Ilz"). Dès la première écoute des premières secondes du premier titre (oui je sais il y a beaucoup de "premier" dans cette phrase) j’ai été scotché, j’ai pris une claque. Happé par la tornade Ils, une déferlante noise, une musique lourde, grave, brute, une voix hyper grasse et enragée, dommage qu’il n’y ai que cinq titres à se mettre entre les oreilles. Analysons donc ces cinq titres.
Entrée en matière avec No Luck, et ça ne rigole pas. Une guitare stridente au son très lourd et grave, la basse qui alourdit encore un peu l’atmosphère, la batterie qui tabasse puis vient la voix, et une sacrée voix mes amis ! Tom Glose s’arrache littéralement les cordes vocales et les poumons avec un grain de voix inimitable, dans les graves comme c'est pas permis, relayé et assisté par la voix de Christopher Frey. Les deux vocalistes sont très complémentaires et s’en donnent à cœur joie. Difficile de mettre un aspect en avant plutôt qu’un autre tant je suis scotché par ce premier morceau, on peut souligner la guitare qui est très efficace sur ce morceau avec des variations et des passages qui nous marquent un peu plus que le reste.
Avec It’s Not Lard But It’s A Cyst on monte d’un cran ! La violence et la rage qui se dégagent de ce morceau sont palpables, la guitare acérée de Nathan Abner nous en met plein les oreilles, les riffs nous restent en tête les uns après les autres. C’est un peu comme si Ken Mode avait pris une surdose de vitamines.
Northstar est un morceau un peu plus posé, bien que la rage de Tom Glose soit toujours autant communicative, notamment sur le final du morceau. Mais dans l’ensemble, ce titre est sur un tempo un peu moins rapide. Ce qui est aussi le cas de Curse, qui démarre calmement, là aussi la guitare est intéressante, envoûtante. Ce titre fait penser à Unsane, mais pas que. Il mélange plusieurs ambiances intéressantes, comme si la noise avait copulé avec le punk, comme si le garage rock avait croisé la route du grunge.
On pense donc à Ken Mode ou encore Unsane quand on écoute Ils, il y a pire comme référence.
For The Shame I Bring est déjà le dernier titre de cet EP. Et là, Ils lâche les chevaux : un morceau survitaminé, un brûlot noise rock dans lequel le groupe donne tout. Une formidable conclusion à ce premier cinq titres plus que très prometteur. J’espère que le groupe va enchaîner et nous proposer rapidement une autre sortie, plus longue cette fois-ci.
Si vous aimez Ken Mode, Unsane, ce qui va vite, les tons graves et une voix pas commune, jetez-vous les yeux fermés sur Ils.
L’année dernière j’avais donné deux coups de cœur pour toute l’année, ce premier effort de Ils est déjà mon deuxième coup de cœur de 2019, l’année s’annonce, et commence, très bien. Espérons que Ils aura droit à une tournée européenne et française via son label, et je vous annonce d’ores et déjà que je serai de la partie si cela arrive.

Instant love for these guys. Primed from my spiritual experience with last year's Daughters and Ken Mode albums, I was ready for more strange and hypnotic noise rock. And though short, Pain Do Not Hurt does not disappoint. "No Luck" makes for a hell of an intro with its sludgy, foundation-rumbling bass guitar and ferociously snarling vocals. While the actual singing on this album is more akin to the likes of Haan and Clutch, these demented screams could give both Greg Puciato and Mike Patton a run for their money. This dichotomy makes ILS the perfect band for rock and metal listeners alike; with an aesthetic that runs the gamut from psychodelic, desert stoner to metallic hardcore. Perhaps even more interesting is the closing track, "For The Shame I Bring," placing the extremity of the harsh vocals right alongside passionate, melodic guitar hooks for a conclusion that is intensely cathartic.

Had I heard this prior to January 6th, 2019 (the day it showed up in our inbox), then you would have already read about it in the Best of 2018 list. Cause it's one of the best things that was released in 2018, without a doubt.
That I missed.
But hey, whatever, there's always 2019. I'm sure we'll make up for it. Somehow.
This ILS record will make up for a lot.
First thing that the astute listener will notice, is that Tom Glose of the criminally underrated band Black Elk is back behind the mic here. And that rules. Second thing the astute listener will notice, is that ILS have channeled a few other late, great, criminally underrated bands in the five songs here; namely, Sluhog's knuckles in the dirt low end grunge-sludge, Shiny Beast's warm, fuzzy, off kilter propulsion, and Pigs' colossal fuck-all barrage. Which, frankly, harkens back to the aforementioned Black Elk...to close the circle (by and by Lord, by and by).
It's a real nasty proposition. Just how we like. Snarling, clawing, breathing rank heat down your neck, staggering relentlessly towards the door, pulling your family photos off the wall with its outstretched paws. A goddamn bear in your goddamn parlor! Call wildlife management!
Word is, these songs may see the light of day on vinyl as an ep, or with some additional material as an lp. Which we would be most excited to see (and presumably hear). And, it would be on out 2019 Best Of list. Already.

Portland heavy noise rockers ILS have released their debut EP, Pain Don’t Hurt, through French label P.O.G.O. Records. The band features vocalist Tom Glose of Black Elk and Clarity Process guitarist Nate Abner, and hey, past bands are fun and all that, but I think the pummel of “It’s Not Lard but it’s a Cyst” speaks for itself over the course of its two minutes, and “For the Shame I Bring” is just the right kind of punishment for, say, sitting on your ass all day while going out of your mind waiting for the internet guy to (not) show up. Just a random example. Not speaking from personal experience or anything.
Oh wait, yes I am. Either way, it’s a solid fit for that I’m-so-restless-I’m-about-to-burst-out-of-my-skull thing that, as human beings, we all know too well. The band released the EP last month and P.O.G.O. posted it as of Jan. 2, so whether you want to call it a 2018 or a 2019 release, I don’t think it matters nearly as much as having your head bashed in by it. Which you can name your own price to do.

Is this the WORST or BEST hardcore record of 2019? // ILS This could be something special...
(...) We quickly started to realize that this could be one of the most innovative records we get to hear this year, maybe even this decade. However, people need to give it chance as the first listen probably won't do it for you, the reason being it’s just really out there in terms of its style and personal character, it’s just different and different doesn’t come along that often anymore. The last band that I can truly put my hands up and say “They we’re the innovators” would be Converge, when I first heard Converge their music melted my brain, and this EP is starting to have the same effect on me.
This could honestly be one of the best records we see released in the next 12 months, maybe even this decade and I think if the band keep doing whatever it is they’re doing to create such a phomnoamlly sound, they could produced some incredible material in the years to come, and even become innovators themselves, which is not something we say lightly. (...)

Das allgemeine Noiserock-Revival hat inzwischen auch Metal-Hipsterhausen Portland, Oregon erfasst. Von dort machen sich die vier Jungs ILS diese Woche mit ihrer Debüt-EP auf, die durchaus gefällt!
Als Lieblingsband gibt man die weitgehend vergessenen Barkmarket an, was es zusätzlich sympathisch macht.

ILS is a four piece band from Portland, Oregon who formed in 2018, from the looks of things. ILS play a killer style of music that incorporates elements of punk, grunge, sludge, and noise rock within their sound. Musically, ILS can be loosely compared to bands such as Jesus Lizard, Unsane, Steel Pole Bathtub, Flipper, Drive Like Jehu, Whores, Bummer, and other like minded bands. Pain Don't Hurt is the band's debut EP, which was released on December 17th, 2018. On Pain Don't Hurt, ILS offer up five tracks of killer punk, grunge, sludge, and noise rock. Overall, Pain Don't Hurt makes for an awesome listen and definitely should not be missed. Highly recommended! Enjoy!

Tudom, hogy már 2019 van, de a december nincs még olyan messze, ez az anyag meg még tavaly jelent meg. Szóval, majdnem idei már! Meg amúgy is az ILS lemeze a legnagyobb szétcsapás, ami az elmúlt hetekben hallottam és vétek lenne számomra, ha nem írnék róla. Ez a négytagú portlandi banda olyat nyom alig negyedórában, hogy a csak pislogtam. Noise-rock, post-harcore, metal? Egyik se? Vagy mindegyik?
A zenekar tagjai: Nathan Abner - gitár, Christopher Frey - basszusgitár, Tom Glose - ének, Tim Steiner - dob. A basszus fronton játszó Christopher Frey ismerős lehet, mivel játszik a PORCH-ban és a korábban a Today Is the Day-ben is megfordult. Egyébként meg rohadtul mindegy, hogy ki honnan jött, mert az ILS nem a múltról, hanem a jelenről szól és nagyon komoly kis banda kalapálódott össze. Az ötszámos anyag egy olyan "darálás", amiben nekem minden megvan amit a keményebb zenékben szeretek. Keményebb? Hülyeség mert nem keményebb, mert van ebben finomabb noise-rock, mint a negyedik szám Cures elején, de alapvetően a riffek a gitárhangzás és szinte a teljes megszólalás letépi az ember fejét. Az ének annyira súlyos minden számban, néha az EYEHATEGOD, néha valami black-metal banda jutott eszembe róla, máskor post-hardcore meg klasszik amerikai noise-rock ének. Legtöbbször nagyon kemény és irgalmatlan feszültség keltő, ahogy a zene is. Feszes dob - basszus alapok, lehengerlő gitármegszólalás, amikor zajos az is kifacsarja az embert hallgatás közben. Már vagy ötödjére megy, de csak szívom magamba belőle az energiát. Nem tudok erről a lemezről többet írni, mert annyira magával ragad a feszültsége és az energiája, hogy ezt hallgatni kell nem írogatni róla.
Kemény megszólalás, nojzereknek és metál rajongóknak is rendben lesz. El sem akarom képzelni élőben mit váltana ki belőlem! Csillagos ötös zúzda!

The band name is pronounced "ilz" which I find to be interesting since musically they're like a very bad hangover. A few months ago I was feeling nostalgic. I was looking through a box of old cassette tapes and pulled out some stuff with a bunch of Touch & Go and Amphetamine Reptile records releases on them as well as other stuff. We use to call that stuff Noise Rock. In hindsight that was pretty stupid because the music in general wasn't noise. A lot of those bands were either pushing the boundaries of punk rock or de-evolving rock music.
So welcome to the wonderful world of ILS and their five song aptly titled Pain Don't Hurt EP. This Portland four piece has a love for the past but are firmly proto metal sounding in order to appeal to modern day crazies. As far as the past aesthetics go they know that you have to keep that bass up front and throbbing. The drum work needs to snap at you like a back handed slap. The guitars have to just meander around with some focus but sound as if they have none. Vocals on here are a mix of psychotic screams and devil may care clean yet obnoxious speak singing.
Ya know a decade ago I pretty much left the whole punk rock thing mainly because well they left me. Be that as it may here's a band that gives me hope for the modern day punk scene. Although as memory serves me when bands from back in the day were playing this style of music you had plenty of hardcore types who trashed em for breaking the so-called punk rules. ILS are rule-breakers and as we all know rulebreakers rule.

Portland heavy noise rockers ILS have released their debut EP, Pain Don’t Hurt, through French label P.O.G.O. Records. The band features members from other Portland, Oregon noise merchants but this January, 2019 release creates an almighty new and fresh racket!
The five-track EP opens with the ominous guitars and pounding drums of No Luck and contains some of the most “dredged from the pits of hell” screamed vocals I’ve heard in a long time and they compete with a straightforward spoken vocal that just exaggerates the power of the scream all set against a heavy riff driven song that just rocks!
The superbly titled It’s Not Lard But It’s A Cyst opens with a dirty bass guitar and then the urgent serrated riffs meet that agonised vocal again and the track proceeds with precision and power before Northstar kicks in with a rocking, head-banging approach full of intensity and energy driven by some excellent riffs, drumming and those signature vocals. Wow!
The penultimate track,Curse, is the longest on the EP at just over three and a half minutes and ILS use this extra length to showcase some different approaches with an eclectic introduction veering into funky territory with some rhythm driven by the bass and stuttering guitars before building into a slow and mesmerising effort that is epic in scope and delivery.
The EP concludes with For The Shame I Bring and this one leaves nothing to the imagination and hits like a 2×4 repeatedly – this is one intense slab of music that you can listen to here

Olyan nincs, hogy ez nem kerül ide, bámulatosan geci anyag. Nyilván noise-rock. Akárhányszor hallgatom, mindig vérzik tőle az ínyem és dagonyázni akarok egy széthugyált kocsmaklotyóban. Agresszív, haragos, csúnya és rosszindulatú kislemez ez, tele nagyszerűen aberrált ötletekkel és nem normális riffekkel, a sikonyálás-kiabálás-énekbeszéd háromszög csuda dolog, a hangzás a bordáid közé szúr és sokszor eszedbe jut az AmRep is. Januárban jelent meg, csak akkor leszartam mindent, de ettől még februárban is ez az év egyik leggányabb arculcsapása.

Sludge and Noise make an ear bleeding mixture which is
pulled off very well.

ILS is een viertal uit Portland, Oregon, dat met Pain Don’t Hurt zijn debuut-ep presenteert op het Franse Pogo Records. De vier muzikanten waren voorheen in andere bands actief. Zo zat vocalist Tom Glose in Black Elk en gitarist Nate Abner in Clarity Process. Geen namen die bij velen een belletje zullen doen rinkelen.
De muziek die ILS maakt, zal bij liefhebbers wel herinneringen oproepen aan vaandeldragers van het noiserockgenre als Unsane, The Jesus Lizard en Steel Pole Bath Tub en in mindere mate Barkmarket, Unwound en Flipper. Voeg daar Whores. en Hollywoodfun Downstairs aan toe en je hebt de muzikale richting van de band uit Portland wel in kaart gebracht.
Want deze band maakt ruige, boze, overstuurde en ongemakkelijke teringherrie zoals het hoort: compromisloos, agressief en dodelijk effectief. Geen gezeik, maar met gestrekt been erin, song na song. En die songs hoeven niet lang te duren: een splinterbom van twee minuten is altijd beter dan een nummer van de dubbele lengte waarin de focus, al is het maar even, verloren gaat.
Vanaf de eerste drumslagen hakt opener ‘No Luck’ erin met een vette bas, sludgy gitaarpartij en vanuit de tenen geschreeuwde vocalen, alsof Kvelertak ze op de hielen zit, afgewisseld met een droge zang/praatstem. Het voor aanvang rustige adrenalinepeil wordt in een mum van tijd naar ongezonde hoogte opgestuwd.
‘It’s Not Lard But It’s A Cyst’, openend met een zware bas, doet het een tempootje lager maar met zo nodig een nog grotere stootkracht. Opnieuw is er de afwisseling van vocalen, maar het is vooral het beukende ritme waaraan de song zijn kracht ontleent. Af en toe wordt dat ritme losgelaten, mag de gitaar rondzwieren, maar de agressieve bas en drums zorgen ervoor dat de trommelvliezen gegeseld blijven worden.
Gas terugnemen is er niet bij, want met ‘Northstar’ dendert ILS door, in een stijl die richting sludge metal gaat. “It just doesn’t matter / the girl’s got a mohawk” zingt Glose en het klinkt zeer verontrustend. De ep is pas op de helft en alle hoeken van de kamer zijn al gezien. De schreeuw aan het eind doet vermoeden dat het niet goed afgelopen is.
En voort gaat het met ‘Curse’, dat het zowaar iets minder van alleen stootkracht moet hebben, maar beslist niet onderdoet voor de andere nummers op Pain Don’t Hurt. De bas is hier het zware tegenwicht voor de zwevende gitaarpartij. En het mag dan wel iets minder recht vooruit beuken, ook ‘Curse’ blijft een kopstoot van jewelste.
‘For The Shame I Bring’ luidt de titel van de slottrack, waarin ILS bewijst dat het agressie uitstekend aan een melodieuze gitaar kan koppelen. En dan is het al klaar, binnen het kwartier. Deze ep verscheen al eind december in eigen beheer en begin januari bij Pogo Records, maar voor wie van noiserock, (post-)hardcore, punk en sludge houdt is Pain Don’t Hurt alsnog verplichte kost.

Мислим да бих укапирао да је ово америчко издање, без и да сам знао. Има тај шмек. Ово је неки реперски HC са вокалом који вришти, обојен неким noise премазом, а повремено чак и репује. Вокал ми је превише иритантан док бесно вришти а још више када репује. Бас гитара је у првом плану; додуше и бубањ. Мени је било мучење да преслушам ово пар пута. Ово је можда музика за неки клуб, скакање/moshing и неке млађе људе; можда тамо у Портланду. А можда је до мене, па ја ово просто не разумем. Ипак је рецензија, колико год то покушавали да избегнемо, лични суд а не нешто финално и правоснажно.















released January 2, 2019


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pogorecords Belgium

P.O.G.O is DIY label since 1993, now between Belgium and France
P.O.G.O. : Pour des Oreilles Grandes Ouvertes // For Wide Open ears
We begin like a fanzine and become quickly a label (tape, digital, vinyl & CD)
we like punk, metal, electro, noise, sludge, dub, emo, ambiant ... be open and curious or go away!
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