Illinois (Chris Archibald on vocals, guitar, banjo and keys; Andrew Lee on guitar and keys; Martin Hoeger on bass; and John-Paul Kuyper on drums) is an eclectic, eccentric, highly energetic outfit that flirts with a wide variety of styles and influences, while always staying grounded in pop-sensible tunefulness. Their songs are immediately addictive, in the way that only a finely crafted pop song can be. Catchy guitar hooks abound. Archibald's voice, though usually soft and pretty, can morph into Nuggets-ready garage grit just as easily and his rudimentary banjo playing offers a little bit of minimalist Americana. Keep your ears open for "Bad Day," the standout track from their debut album; it gives Hoeger and Kuyper room to stretch their legs on a funky and barely contained, pulsating freak-out.
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Nicholas Hall