The Illustrated – Alphabaggage
Highly energetic punk that morphs and changes in sound.
When popping in the Illustrated’s Alphabaggage into the stereo, I was treated with an intro full of odd drum hits, censor beeps and confusion, which “prepares” the listener for what is to come. The Illsutrated can not be written simply off as a punk trio. While most of the album centers around punk songs, they also throw the listeners wild cards, such as the bluesy “The Zahir,” to show what they are capable of. While these types of song are not always well placed and sometimes slow down the album, it is good to see that they can do more than play in the style of punk.
The instrumentals in the songs are usually tight and have enough variation to keep listeners interested and intrigued. The best part about these guys is that their best tracks consist of imagery of monsters, destruction, and non-seriousness. The vocalist screams out the words “breakfast of champions!” angrily and rebelliously on “God bless you Gatorade,” showing that these guys are not trying to incite a revolution but are having a good time.
However, on many tracks the singing can come off as dopey and very near laughably bad. Yet, the fact that their lyrics are either humorously ambiguous or apocalyptic makes this a punk-sounding album that doesn’t leave one groaning at genre clichés at every turn. I will eagerly wait to see what The Illustrated has planned next for the listener.
– Tim Wallen