BY MICHAEL TOLAND
The Icarus Line has spent most of its career hewing a 21st century version of decadent glam out of the edifice of indie rock. But for its fifth LP Slave Vows, the band picks up the threads of creeping psychedelia that have long been detectable in its quirky rawk blasts, unraveling the old tapestry and rolling around in the pile of yarn left behind. Riding waves of raging feedback, aggressive rhythms and blazing guitar fury, leader Joe Cardamone alternately seethes and wails, hissing like a reformed black metal vokillist one minute and roaring like a drug-addled Mick Jagger the next.
“Dead Boy,” “Rats Ass” and the monstrous “Dark Circles” drown peaceful hippies in the brown acid, spitting out horrifying visions that somehow sting and soothe at the same time. The band almost gets accessible with “Don’t Let Me Save Your Soul,” but it’s closer to the art-damaged pop of Spacemen 3 than anything directly inspired by the 60s. Cardamone throws in a wink at his own folly with “No Money Music,” but the Icarus Line has always been more concerned with self-indulgence than filthy lucre anyway. Opening the door of your mind’s eye to the psychedelic sludge and acid punk hooks of Slave Vows will gain you a lot of decadent pleasure, little insight and even less mercy.
DOWNLOAD: “Dark Circles,” “Rats Ass,” “Don’t Let Me Save Your Soul”