Independent rock outfit, Icarus The Owl, decided to go into the studio last year and record their third full-length album with Kris Crummett who produced the latest albums from Dance Gavin Dance and Further Seems Forever, among others. The band’s Kickstarter-backed, self-titled record is their most polished to date and clocks in at a wonderful 54 minutes.
The album begins with “Ignore Check Engine Lights,” a good showing of the band’s more technical side, along with their urgent sound. At times the band played around with a techno-meets-rock sound and on some tracks it worked, but on others like, “In Aeternum,” there was just too much going on. Simplicity is often the key, and sometimes it seemed as if the band tried to go for too many varying sounds on one track. The best one-two punch comes on the seventh and eighth tracks: “Touchstone” and “Lily Trotter.” “Touchstone” has a way of bringing about the teenage angst in all of us and “Lily Trotter” is the perfect mixture of Icarus’ rock and techno sound with fantastic lyrics.
The new self-titled release from Icarus The Owl is a splendid one that proves the band is one to be reckoned with. The album is greatly driven by complicated instrumentals and soaring choruses, a conglomeration which very few bands are able to perfect. The urgency of the lyrics paired with the unmistakable vocals of Joey Rubenstein gives the record the feel of a much more veteran band. Especially for an independent band Icarus The Owl did a phenomenal job of crafting an album worthy of any rock-lover’s iPod.
Icarus The Owl is available February 7.
Review by Jonathan Kemp