Review ·

For a simpleton lyricist leading a band called Illinois (out of Pennsylvania's Bucks County), Chris "Arch" Archibald is at least charming in the twenty-minute long What the Hell Do I Know? EP. Illinois discovers no new territory in the indie/alt scene, but there is nothing terribly offensive in the seven pop-tinged grooves here. In opener "Alone Again," Archibald follows a spree of cheers with bland verses delivered in an epic tone: "Believe it once you've seen it/ they say everything happens for a reason." The static-infused mumbles take a back seat on album highlight "One on One," where drums and power chords prevail. Archibald's monotone narrative in the closer "Bad Day" is an annoying rant about everything from being late, to four-wheel drive, to a corporate desk job, but the narrative is incomprehensible thanks to poor production. The mixed palette may indicate Illinois's inability to explore any specific niche, but at least the album is better than its cover art would suggest.







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