Slave Vows – The Icarus Line

There are many reasons why I was stoked to hear this record. First and foremost, the Icarus Line rule; they’re polarizing as fuck because they don’t stick to a formula or play it safe. Frontman Joe Cardamone has even said that every record has been motivated by the feeling that it would be the last one. This is not because the band has ever thought about doing anything but making music, but because creating good art nowadays gets in the way of basic survival needs (like being able to buy food or pay your water bill) and requires dedication. Secondly, because it usually takes these guys a good 4 years to get new material out, it was cool to see an album that came together so quickly. Finally, well, I was able to get a press pass copy of it.

The record kicks off with a swell of feedback that builds into repetitive, but driven riff. Cardamone has stated a couple of times that he recorded this whole album live, only using ProTools to “push record.” With that in mind, the album does have a real live feel to it and the opening track “Dark Circles” sounds like the band warming up the crowd. It progresses into “Don’t Let Me Save Your Soul,” which begins as a slow-chugging foot-stomper, but gets more chaotic (with the help of an organ you believe it or not). It’s around here that I really start to like the whole live sound of the album. It’s infused with small imperfections that make it seem real, and real fucking cool. Next up, “Marathon Man” is like a mix of Spiritualized’s “Cop Shoot Cop” guitar fuckery and Rowland S Howard’s vocal melodies. Definitely one of my favorites on the album. After that comes “Dead Body,” another slow-burner at first, but when the song kicks, the guitar tone is like a straight punch to the face. “No Money Music” is like the shorter cousin of “Meatmaker” from Penance Soiree, which is by no means a bad thing. “City Job” is probably my least favorite track on the album just cause I think it drags a bit and doesn’t really go anywhere. Maybe it’s a grower, but so far, I’m not into it. From this point on though, it’s fucking solid. “Laying Down For the Man” sounds like a guitar kamikaze, Spacemen 3 style. It might be my favorite track on the album because of that. The album finishes strong with “Rats Ass,” which, as you can probably tell by the title, is a real shit kicker.

I hope the band can keep up this trend of putting out a new album every two years as it obviously doesn’t hurt their songwriting ability. The record is solid, maybe their best since Penance Soiree and begins another chapter of the madness that is the Icarus Line.

I can’t share any tracks unfortunately, but you can get a preview of the sonic car crash part of “Marathon Man” in the teaser below. Also, the early live version of “Rats Ass” is on the web under the name of “Salem Slims.” You can check both out below. Slave Vows is out July 16th via Agitated Records. Check it out.

The Icarus Line Slave Vows Teaser 1

Salem Slims – the Icarus Line

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  1. […] you read my review from a bit ago, you’ll know that the Icarus Line are gearing up to put out one hell of an […]

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