Ill: Gotten Gains

Gardener’s world.

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The return of Soundgarden has many a grunge refugee all aquiver and counting down the days to this year’s Download, but it’s not great timing for Ill.

From the opening smash-and-grab riff of One Time, driven along by Damion Goodpaster’s chest-beating , soulful vocals, it’s impossible to push the reborn Seattle heroes far from the front of your mind.

Luckily, Ill launch themselves into Gotten Gains with such cocksure gusto, it’s impossible not to get swept along with it all. To hell with subtlety, the fat, strutting blues of There Are Worst Things Than Being Alone all but punches you in the face with its self confidence. Like all American portions, the riffs come in two sizes – large or supersized – and Ill swiftly move forward to channel their inner Motörhead for the frantic Castration.

So it’s a shame they go and spoil it all just as they were crossing the finish line with a version of Pearls by Sade, in a beyond-parody move so horrendously, shirt-billowingly, knuckle-bitingly earnest, you have to actually wonder if the Spinal Tap team are pulling the strings in the background somewhere. Oops.

Emma has been writing about music for 25 years, and is a regular contributor to Classic Rock, Metal Hammer, Prog and Louder. During that time her words have also appeared in publications including Kerrang!, Melody Maker, Select, The Blues Magazine and many more. She is also a professional pedant and grammar nerd and has worked as a copy editor on everything from film titles through to high-end property magazines. In her spare time, when not at gigs, you’ll find her at her local stables hanging out with a bunch of extremely characterful horses.