I was in Ljubljana last year. It’s the capitol city of the bijou country Slovenia; a nation so small that it has one motorway, which is mainly used by Germans in large silver cars to whoosh through as they head to the Croatian coast.
Ljubljana is equally pint-size. It’s roughly the same size as Crewe, but with all of the charm, beauty and culture conspicuous by its absence in Crewe. Towns that are best known as being a railway junction rarely have much else to offer.
Ljubljanans are particularly proud of their Three Bridges – which, cheerfully enough, are three quaint, tiny bridges, standing side by side across the quaintest part of the smallest river ever to flow through a capitol city.
All these memories came trickling back, treacle-like, as I was listening to – hey! – Three Bridges by Illness. The reasoning seems obvious enough, but wait – there’s more…
It wasn’t just the title of the song that forced the connection. This kind of abrasive music straddles a divide – a little like those bridges – between the sort of soothing white noise used by psychoanalysts to draw out repressed memories, and the simple, straightforward tunefulness used to get the people dancing by bands since time immemorial.
There’s a special purity to Illness. Meat, gristle and fat is stripped away, and the bare bones of rock are there for all to noisily gnaw on. One of my most over- and mis-used new band clichés is the mentioning of ‘clattering’ drums, but here, finally, my mismatched hyperbole has found its natural home.
Illness’ drums clatter in the most satisfyingly tactile manner since Steve Albini last hooked up his microphones to Dave Grohl’s kit. There, I said it. And as a devotee of clattering, it seems reasonable to continue and say that Illness’ drumming, guitar playing and general demeanour are as wildly Animal-from-Muppets-like.
A band to fully blow out the cobwebs. Yum.