The Icarus Line announced the release of their new album, Slave Vows for July 22nd via Agitated.
The text accompanying the announcement states: “It distils The Icarus Line’s past, present and future into 8 tracks and 45 minutes of profoundly uncompromised rock & roll hurtling from the malevolent glower of opener ‘Dark Circles’, to the slow, corrosive ooze of ‘Marathon Man’, to the savage explosion of ‘Dead Body’, to the Sabbath-plays-Funkadelic writhe of ‘Rat’s Ass’.”
Talking about the album, front man Joe Cardamone adds: “In previous years I’ve put out records that have been too long, because I’ve been working on them for like four fuckin’ years, and I’ve imagined it’s probably the last one I’ll ever do, so I just put everything on there. But at this point in my life, I don’t really give a fuck anymore. I know I’m gonna make records for as long as I’m alive, so I’m not as precious any more, I don’t care. This thing only exists so we can be happy and do something that matters to us, and to the people who need this as much as we do.”
As I flipped this long awaited disc on and left the room to make coffee I thought iTunes had totally screwed up again. As the kettle began to boil I thought I could hear Nico’s harmonium flowing through the hallway and into the kitchen. Then as the boiling water hit the crackling brown granules I could’ve sworn Hawkwind had entered the mix. Cursing the Mac as I went to check things out I could distinctly hear things start to go a bit Doorsy.
By the time I got back to the computer command seat, Joe Cardamone was laying on some soft vocals over the whole damned thing. Bewildered, I had to rewind. Sure enough what I heard was ‘Dark Circles’, track one on the new album.
Still slightly bewildered, the track had to be replayed a number of times and I wandered from room to room trying to zero in on its various layers. From the title it could well have been a Nico tune but it slithered like mercury over my skin and puddled itself into a whole other creature. It was not one thing but many, but it was one thing. I was hearing sadness and hidden messages from the Devil.
It was impossible to listen to like this, motionless and clinical in front of a computer screen. It had to get out, I had to get out; I needed complete submersion in this ooze. I ripped it out of the machine and started the car, I needed to drive, and drive fast.
With the stereo turned up fully and the scenery rushing past, the music connected and I could feel the high voltage neurotransmissions firing wildly in my head as it screamed from track to track. This incredible rain of energy from the speakers heightened the emotions and bombarded you in exactly the way real music should do, telling you to sob and curl up in a tight foetal ball one second and to start a riot the next.
Without drawing comparisons or naming names, The Icarus Line embody all the elements of the once great and good, those whose best seems far behind them. Slave Vows, their fifth album (which was recorded at Joe Cardamone’s Valley Recording Company in Burbank, California) is a dangerous high-powered oxyacetylene blowtorch aimed straight at the heads of all those preened plastic pretend pointy-shoed rock and rollers that have bred like maggots over the stages of the land.
This album captures all the raw power of one of their sweat soaked hard-hitting live shows. No mean feat. It’s music to kill to, or fuck to, or both.
1. Dark Circles
2. Don’t Let Me Save Your Soul
3. Marathon Man
4. Dead Body
5. No Money Music
6. City Job
7. Laying Down For The Man
8. Rat’s Ass
Images: Carl Byron BatsonSlave Vows on Agitated Records
Photographer, published poet, former party animal, body builder, grave robber
to the stars and renowned chainsaw juggler, Carl can often be spotted on his
Harley Davidson pretending to be in Terminator 2. He is also frequently seen in
the press pits of old London town, camera in hand, avoiding being hit by bottles
of wee and crippling his opposition with secret Kung Fu moves.