illScarlett - All Day With It Release Date - June 12th/2007 Label - Sony BMG Canada
If Sublime, Billy Talent and No Doubt were making sweet, passionate love to each other for 45min at 325F, the result would be… well, nothing near what illScarlett’s All Day With It sounds like, but it’s the best comparison I could conjure up. This Toronto based band has had quite a bit of hype surrounding them after their rapid climb to the mainstream music scene in Canada. This was no surprise considering they’ve been on Warped Tour for the last two years, their song “Who’s Got It” is the official track of the FIFA U-20 World Cup and their first single (“Nothing Special”) is being played to death on every major radio station throughout the country. We’ll have to wait and see where this all takes them.
All Day With It is an album that surpasses even their highly successful, major label EP entitled EPdemic. It’s flow is uninterrupted, leaving no track to be skipped. This all begins with “Who’s Got It?” which starts off the album with a calming little acoustic intro that transforms into a hip-hop-esque breakdown, and finally kicks into the sound that’s quickly making illScarlett one of my favorite groups. This is followed by the aforementioned “Nothing Special”. Its aggressive sound, mixed with a hilariously catchy chorus makes it one of the band’s better songs. The guitar riffs and the percussion work together to create a soon-to-be megahit, and it becomes clear that this sound is what makes illScarlet one in a million. Something similar to this is also seen in “Life of a Soldier”, which has arguably the most epic chorus on the entire album. Alex Norman’s vocals are perfect in every way, while Will Marr gets to shine on a kickass solo near the end. Every aspect of this song makes me think I may have found my favorite track on this album. This hard-sounding trend is not broken until about halfway through the albumwith a previously released track called “Pacino” that brings down the pace for more of a chill, tra-la-la kind of feel to it. At times, the vocals in this track sound a bit like ones you’d expect from BEDlight for BlueEYES, and the tune in the background of the chorus compliments the feel of the song very well. It just gives you an overall feel of happiness.
If by this point you’re still not swayed towards All Day With It, then I suggest you listen to “The Fashion (Do or Die)” because, in my opinion, this song sums up what illScalett is all about. It’s full of aggression that makes you move your head and sing/scream along. If you don’t like this song at all, then you can safely give up on this band. A bit after this, we reach a slight chink in the album when introduced to “Paradise Burning”, a song that isn’t quite up to par, but not bad enough to break the consistency of All Day With It. I would have preferred another fast-paced song instead, for two reasons: their harder, faster songs have more of a lasting appeal AND it would have complimented the album’s closer (“Danse Macabre”) a bit better because I just don’t like when the last two tracks of a punk album are slow songs.
With all these positives, and very few negatives, it’s easy to see why I gave this album the score I did. When you hear All Day With It, you can see that they didn’t try and conform to a certain generic sound to increase profits, but they instead walk on the fine line between underground and mainstream. With their growing fan base, nobody should be surprised if these guys take over the US.