Penance Soiree – the Icarus Line

It took me a bit to get into this band. I never went through that heavy/hardcore phase that everyone else did. Sure, I dug Black Flag but I wasn’t rushing to the first show at the Muse anytime soon. So I guess that’s why it took me a bit to get this band’s aggressive tone. But nowadays, I think it’s cool.

Quick history lesson: The Icarus Line formed in 1998 and throughout the early 2000’s, were known as one of the wildest bands on the West Coast. They were uncompromising on many levels and very DIY. Their live shows are chaotic. If a heckler unwisely decided to chug a beer bottle at the band, the band would jump off the stage and attack the motherfucker like a gang. Though most of the founding members have left (the guitarist on this record, Aaron North, went on to join NIN and found Jubilee) lead singer Joe Cardamone still leads the band as they’re about to release a new album, Wildlife.

Smart Interview with the band

This album was recorded in 2003, though it didn’t see an official release until 2004 and that took some dirty work. North admits that after the record was release, he had to threaten to take a baseball bat to the V2 Records office in NY to get released from the band’s contract. It’s not surprise that this album like 13 punches to the face then. The songs are about the basics: sex, pills, stealing, and girls. The band was apparently huge into the Stooges and the Birthday Party during the recording of this album and it shows. Cardamone has Nick Cave’s signature occasional psychosis outburst and North has Ron Asheton’s sloppy sounding guitar tone down pretty well. It’s not a record for happy times, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a great record.

You can check out my three favorite tracks below. The album’s on Spotify, Amazon, iTunes, etc. and I definitely recommend it. It’s an album you’ll either love or hate because this band really has no middle ground.

Up Against the Wall Motherfuckers – the Icarus Line

Spike Island – The Icarus Line

Party the Baby Off – the Icarus Line

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