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The Icarus Line
Mono
Crank! a record company


This is a real rock record damnit! Hell, this is rock the way it was meant to be; no drawn out arpeggiated, pseudo-poetic, pandering bullshit here!

Now, let’s get one thing straight right off the bat: I’ve heard countless people compare these guys to At The Drive-In and frankly, that’s just plain lazy. The only thing Icarus Line has in common with ATDI, is their incendiary live show and the manager (Blaze James) they both share. Aside from that, The Icarus Line has carved out an identity all their own. As a matter of fact, The Icarus Line has far more in common with bands like The Fluid than ATDI.

On the new Crank! release, Mono, The Icarus Line wastes absolutely no time in unleashing its frenzied assault on your senses. On the opening track, "Love is Happiness," the band grabs you by the lapels and commences to skewer your lobes for just under 55 non-stop minutes. The Line delivers exactly what you’ve come to expect from them— uncompromising balls-out rock that will leave you spitting out your teeth like Chiclets. I'm confident that Mono could incite pacifists like Gandhi to launch a full-scale seven state killing spree.

Not much has changed from their previous releases except that the songs and the production have gotten noticeably better. If you liked what you heard on Red and Black Attack, you will not be disappointed by this record. Sonically, this is hands-down their best work to date. It’s most noticeable with the rhythm section. Suffice to say, you’ll definitely recognize the difference Mark Trombino’s (Drive Like Jehu) signature drum production makes. On their previous releases, it sounded like you were listening to the band through the door of their practice space. On Mono, the band invites you in, then rips your arm off at the elbow and beats you with it. It really is subjective, though. I personally preferred the gritty production of Jack Endino on The Fluid’s now classic Roadmouth, to the glitzy pop perfection of Butch Vig's on Glue. Either way, Trombino and Alex Newport (Sepultura, godheadsilo) outdid themselves with this recording.

On "You Make Me Nervous," Joe Cardamone’s voice is every bit as lucid and chaotic as it ever was. In fact, probably more so. Cardamone has developed a keen understanding of vocal dynamics. While other bands create dynamics with the aforementioned pretty arpeggios and then buzzsaw guitars, Cardamone eschews that tired formula in favor of creating contrast with his just his voice. When he isn’t screaming, his voice reminds me of a cross between Blackmore (Molly McGuire), circa Sisters Of and Brendan Perry (Dead Can Dance). He is relentless. How this guy still has a voice at all—much less a good one—is beyond me.

On "In Lieu", guitarists Aaron North and Alvin DeGuzman create a swirling dirge-like distorted effect that hints at impending chaos, before surprisingly, the band delivers it’s most deliberate, non-threatening and accessible track on the record. A false sense of security pervades. By now you can feel the venom coursing through your veins, and somehow you think you might actually live through this. You’re wrong.

The rest of the record is absolutely solid. There are no throwaway tracks whatsoever. Do yourself a favor. When this record is released on May 8th, run, don’t walk, and get yourself a copy. I guarantee it will rip your freakin’ head off. If not, it will certainly scare the shit out of anyone who comes within earshot. Someone told me Crank! was dead. I beg to differ.

-Dave Herrera

The Icarus Line Website
Crank! website

Track Listing:

Love is Happiness
You Make Me Nervous
L.O.S.T
Enemies In High Places
In Lieu...
Feed A Cat To Your Cobra
Oh Faithless
Please Fire Me
Keep Your Eyes Peeled
Best 2 Out of 3
The Rape of The Holy Mother
SPMC

 


Mike Doughty



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