“Avowed Slavery” (2014) / The Icarus Line
The Icarus Line is a band often covered by Grave Reviews. They’re like the last stand against mediocre music, each album getting better and better as their music evolves into something weird and unrecognisable to what it was originally. They’re the best band no one has ever heard of.
The Icarus Line often tour the UK and a lot of these shows are played to an audience of the support bands, a photographer and a couple of brave fans here and there. That would dishearten most people, and understandably so. But what do The Icarus Line do? They go and release “Slave Vows”, an album vicious enough to wake rock music from its lazy slumber, and then “Avowed Slavery” a year later which makes Slave Vows sound like a less interesting older brother.
Avowed Slavery slithers into life with “Leeches and Seeds”: the bass like footsteps towards the gallows, all sorts of sounds creeping in on top of a crying/dying guitar. This song sounds dangerous. Then things pick up a bit, but you can’t relax: The Icarus Line are in Stooges-mode in the chorus, but whereas the Stooges faded away fast, The Icarus Line are still here harming your stereo.
“Junkadelic” throbs like a bad headache. “Raise Yer Crown” is sinister and smooth; Joe Cardamone’s “hey”s adding a twisted groove, the sound clipping at the edge of the mix. “Salem Slims” sums up the whole attitude of Avowed Slavery in two lines: “They told us not to make a stand, so we burned that bitch down”. Doing their music their own way and not just accepting the consequences, but actually going out and trampling all over the status-quo. The Icarus Line are out there in the warzone while all the “rock legends” are getting fat and lazy in arenas and fancy jets across the world.
Avowed Slavery closes with “The Father/The Priest”, a thirteen minute trip into a creepy reality check, like a fairground ride gone so very wrong. The song lounges around in a way that gives you a false sense of security (if you listen to this on a dark walk home, you’ll be checking your back) right before kicking off again in its dying breath. This album is a helter skelter of a journey, taking you down into the gutter before you even know what’s going on.
Get Avowed Slavery at Picadilly Records or Norman Records.
The Icarus Line’s Bandcamp is here for lesser known but just as good tracks. More information can be found on the band’s official website.