A few years ago, I was on vacation in Florida for the 4th of July. It was sticky hot (of course) and while searching for a bottle of water and a bit of air conditioning, I came across a tiny Australian coffee shop. While cooling down on a bar stool, I couldn’t help but notice an advertisement for Diesel, a coffee blend they were especially proud of. I was in no hurry to return to heat and humidity outdoors, so I ordered a shot of Diesel and finished it in a few languid sips while watching the world melt outside.
I guess I should’ve known by the name that “Diesel” was pretty intense stuff, but I was young and didn’t take my lifelong caffeine intolerance very seriously. I paid the barista, finished my water, and left the cafe to find the rest of my family, only to take about five steps and realize the world was slightly sideways, spinning, and moving much slower than I remembered. My heart started pounding, my hands were sweaty and shaking, and I was keenly aware of every breath I took. The Diesel had kicked in, and I was not prepared.
Listening to bi-coastal punk rock quartet illiterates‘s latest single, “Time Bomb,” invokes similar feelings. There’s no warning, no musical intro to ease you in. Lead singer Steve Albertson starts wailing, the drums and bass come crashing in, and the guitar screams as the song assaults your speakers. It’s visceral and gritty, transporting listeners to a dysotopian world of the band’s creation, where “cult leaders, muscle cars, and frantic, overdriven guitars commingle in an unholy union that’s equal parts Richard Hell and Jim Jones.”
“Time is ticking and
I am on the clock
Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom!
It’s a bomb!”
Inspired by 80s and 90s punk and classic garage rock, the Los Angeles and Atlanta-based quartet channel the delightful morbidity of old grindhouse B-movies into a chaotic performance.
Need a little bit of diesel to get through? Stream “Time Bomb” here: