The Icarsus line :
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OUR MAN IN THE BRONZEAGE
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Los Angeles hellions The Icarus Line have spent a decade and change mastering that energy, manifesting via retina-scarring, pulse-quickening live performances ever on the edge of total collapse and often tumbling into brilliance, via well-publicised pranks at the expense of corporate rock’s sacred cows (that time they graffiti-ed The Strokes’ tourbus, that time they stole Stevie Ray Vaughan’s guitar, that time they published Fred Durst’s cellphone number on the affiliated website Buddyhead), and – most potently – via four albums of sleek, sulphurous punk-rock that stoked their rage into a righteous, seductive party.
Slave Vows, their fifth album, is also their best yet. The Stoogian roar of a band that refuses to die, it captures Cardamone and his charges at their most alive, across songs that slither, lash and rise into venomous crescendos, dark and heroic and seductive and seething. Recorded at Cardamone’s own Valley Recording Company studio in Burbank, California, it distils The Icarus Line’s past, present and future into 8 tracks and 45 minutes of profoundly uncompromised rock’n’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’.
Work on the album began after a 2012 spent mostly on the road, including a sortie across Europe in the company of Killing Joke. “We got home and said, let’s make a record,” remembers Cardamone. “I had enough money saved up to spend two months working solely on the album.” The songs were written during the first month, and recorded during the second, Cardamone favouring an old school approach. “Apart from a couple of vocals and some keyboards, it was all recorded live. All we do with ProTools is fucking press ‘record’. It’s about capturing performances. We’d just come off the road, and none of us could face putting on headphones. Wasn’t gonna happen.”
"Just when you think you’ve fallen out of love with The Icarus Line, they fuck you up all over again." 9/10 Drowned in Sound
"A perfect reintroduction to The Icarus LIne and an album which walks the wild side with instinctive ease and righteous fury." 4/5 Kerrang
"They never disappoint" 4/5 Mojo
"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." Trebuchet
"The most unified Icarus Line album to date, and their best since 2004’s breakthrough Penance
Soiree." 8/10 The Line Of Best Fit
"It is what it is: a passionate, purposeful and wonderfully presented collection of combustive rock songs." 8/10 Clash