I happened upon the Bandcamp site of the excellent A389 Recordings recently while checking out a couple of upcoming releases [EyeHateGod and Weekend Nachos since you ask]. I was checking out the wares when I clicked ‘play’ on this taster for ILSA’s upcoming  double 12″. It follows their OTHER forthcoming release, ‘Intoxications’ which is due in November this year, following their acclaimed split with Finland’s Hooded Menace, of whom I posted earlier.
This is good, heavy, slow, chugging Amebix/Antisect/Winter/Discharge style hardcore. It takes me wandering back to the days of crust when I would find some obscure Antisect release with its inevitable black/white cover glinting seductively at me. That fantastic, chug-along guitar riffing is all over this. The slow, complex time signatures so beloved of the old UK crust bands is faithfully reproduced as well. ‘Intoxications’ is a ten tracker which sees basic crust get mixed with a dose of doom to produce a thoroughly 21st century snakebite of rough cider mixed with – uh – alcopops!
My only criticisms when I first heard this were that the vocalist tends towards the ‘shouty’ – the kind of style a lot of the contemporary New York ‘tough guy’ bands display. But then, crust always had a place for a good old gravel-voiced throat ripping vocal style, and after a coupla listens I think it fits. These tracks just kick right off like a bar room brawl, and then they lurch along like ‘Hear Nothing’ era Discharge – Bones, Tez and Gary would be proud of these boys!
So, although breaking very little new ground really, ILSA have at the same time provided us with some really cracking, angry, dark crust punk which is well worth trading your Doom patch or your old bullet belt for.
If I ever get my Deviated Instinct interview back, then ILSA will be the next ones on the list for some questions!
Note – play it loud!