Icarus Line – Wildlife

January 01, 1970

(Roar Scratch)




It’s been four years since the Icarus Line released a record
– in today’s climate that’s several lifetimes. But the iconoclastic L.A. quartet has never
gotten the wide attention it deserves – being too weird for the rockers and too
rocking for the weirdoes will do that – so essentially starting over is no big


Wildlife has the
feel of both a consolidation and an introduction, as the band runs every
permutation of the underground guitar rock it loves through the ringer of
singer Joe Cardamone’s singular vision. The Line careens from the Bo
Diddley-meets-the Birthday Party scuzz of “No Lord” and the Bad Seed brood of
“Bad Bloods” to the Stonesy glam rock of “All the Little Things” and the Detroit swagger of “Sin
Man/Sick Blues.” The band also spends some time sampling the mushrooms during
the driving garage crush of “We Want More” and the blazing mantra fuzz of
“Venomous.” The unsavory “Lick a Scab” sounds like the decadent acid glam funk
tune Primal Scream has been attempting for years.


Cardamone’s charismatic moan, like Mick Jagger trying to
sound like Jim Reid, remains the band’s defining characteristic, but without
the support of the acid-seared guitar riffs and nimble rhythm section he’d be
lost. It’s the death dance between chaos and craft that keeps Wildlife in its titular headspace.


Man/Sick Blues,” “All the Little Things,” “No Lord” MICHAEL TOLAND

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