Words: Maya Kiternas
Known for their riffs and catchy vocal lines, Life’s Ill encapsulates the epitome of Western Sydney hardcore. It’s been a hot minute since the five-piece released their last single; however, they gave us a little present on Valentine’s Day and lets just say it’s not something you want to play to set the mood in the bedroom. ‘What God Wouldn’t Tell You’ is dark, short and punchy, like that weird kid who hangs by the edge of the pit and will viciously burst into a mosh that shakes the whole room at any moment.
It’s evident from the first few seconds of ‘What God Wouldn’t Tell You’ that five-piece have matured since their last single ‘Still Ill’. The EP starts off with ‘Tasting Dread’ and it was definitely not what I was expecting to hear from the Sydney boys. Haunting piano chords accompanied by Max’s feverish vocals, ‘Tasting Dread’ demands the listener to know Life’s Ill have been cooking something a little different in the studio this time around. ‘Tasting Dread’ ends by crashing into the unforgettable mantra of “this is what God wouldn’t tell you” and precedes to set the tone for the remainder of the EP.
The final notes of ‘Tasting Dread’ fade into identical chords of the next track ‘I Refuse Love’. If you were a fan of Life’s Ill for their fast riffs and chuggy breakdowns, then ‘I Refuse Love’ won’t let you down. With its constant chug and snappy lyrics it makes you’re left wanting to f**k some shit up and crack someone’s head open, especially during the tracks final breakdown. Out of the 3 tracks on ‘What God Wouldn’t Tell You’, ‘I Refuse Love’ reminds me the most of Life’s Ill’s hardcore roots.
The last song on ‘What God Wouldn’t Tell You’ is also the longest song of the 3-track EP. ‘Death Benefit’ allowed Life’s Ill to properly explore a diverse range of sound and highlight Max’s vocal range, which for me was a high point of the EP. In addition to the multitude of vocals, ‘Death Benefit’ proved that Life’s Ill is not your basic hardcore band as they bring in elements of classic metal through distorted guitars and crashing china. Of course, there’s a cheeky two-step thrown into this track, because who doesn’t love having a little boogie mid-song?! ‘Death Benefit’ nicely wraps up the tone of ‘What God Wouldn’t Tell You’ with the sharp lyrical reminder “not even God will keep you alive”.
‘What God Wouldn’t Tell You’ is a turning point for the five-piece, 110% darker, meaningful and more explorative than any of Life’s Ill’s previous tracks. It’s clear from this EP that the five-piece aren’t playing around, as they have stepped out of the circle of the mosh based hardcore and given us a mature, refined version of themselves to experience. ‘What God Wouldn’t Tell You’ is a definitive step in a new direction for Life’s Ill, while still remaining true to their hardcore heritage.
Catch Life’s Ill performing ‘What God Wouldn’t Tell You’ on tour with Dregg and Reactions throughout Australia this February. ‘What God Wouldn’t Tell You’ is available on Spotify, Apple Music and Bandcamp for your listening pleasure. For more info, head HERE!