ILL FATE - Times Get Tough EP
As the 40th anniversary of the birth of punk slowly disappears over the horizon, the obvious question is what relevance has this genre in modern day music? Given that the 'Big Ticket' bands remain largely originals - like The Damned, Stiff Little Fingers, Cock Sparrer etc - who attract an audience trying to relive their youth, are there any new, youthful bands coming through to inject a bit of energy into the scene?
Well I am glad to relate that there are new punk bands out there trying to establish a foothold and one of those is Cardiff's ILL FATE. Made up of Rhys on Bass and Vocals, Owen on guitar and vocals, Chris on guitar and Will on drums, whilst they only started this year, they are ready to cut loose in 2018.
Looking more to American bands, such as NOFX, Bad Religion and Dropkick Murphys, for their inspiration, they still strive to be provocative and meaningful, whilst providing an authentically British perspective. However, they stress that their heart is a sense of fun combined with a highly energetic style of song writing. To date they have produced a 5 track EP "Times Got Tough", but are planning to release a full album in 2018.
The Stateside influences are instantly obvious on openers "Times Got Tough" and "2031", the latter of which reminds me in some ways of "Dammit" by Blink 182 (back when they used to be a half decent band). The songs come along a frenetic pace with machine gun drumming, heavy duty bass lines and quasi metal guitar riffs, with Rhys and Owen's gruff vocals, at times sounding almost metalcore, over the top.
"Pragmatic Patty" and "Strong & Stable" both have politically driven lyrics, so don't think their songs are all about the usual SoCal topics of sun and skateboards. Final track "My Friends Who Moved Away" is a Celtic Punk Rock number, along the lines of the aforementioned Murphys or Flogging Molly, and adds a bit of variety to the overall aural sound of the release.
The EP is a good start to their recording career and lays down solid foundations for a long player in the New Year, when they'll also be hitting the road. So, for many reasons, Ill Fate are a band that deserves your attention and support. For without them, and their peers, British punk rock will die, both literally and metaphorically, when the old guard shuffle off the mortal coil. So, do yourself a favour, and get out to a small venue and see them up close and personal to understand why punk changed the face of rock music four decades ago.