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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Icarus Himself

Career Culture

Review by Larry Toering

What a great find this turned out to be. Although I just recently came upon Icarus Himself I have much enthusiasm for this release. A lot of what it has to offer is massively familiar, but perhaps that is because it has both feet in the past. But, at the same time they manage  to dig up this fantastic modern sound to go with it. Some of the titles also ring of familiar subjects. This is one act I’d love to see live and will grab such an opportunity if it is presented. Think 80s, but think progressive 80s, and you're in the ball park right there, but add Pink Floyd, David Bowie and Genesis, with a little Gazpacho and you're batting 300. It almost sounds like what someone would hear if they took steroids from a bottle that hasn't been opened since 1983.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2012  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Wake Up

This is quite an awesome little opener. Within seconds I feel as if I've heard the whole thing before, but I can't place from where that feeling comes. The influence I do feel is certainly steeped somewhere in the 80s romantic pop / new wave era, more than anywhere else in the mixture on display. Basically there is an overall harking back to the 80s in general on the entire disc in a progressive quality, and never have I been transported back there quite like this. Either that or I'm completely duped.

Mornings At The Bar
The awesomeness increases at maximum levels here, and the vocals grab you by the ears and proceed to squeeze delight through them. This is a killer track that simply works for dancing or just listening. It moves at a much more frantic pace than the previous tune but equally mates its quality. Here they rock with such a finesse it's easy to feel this is going to be a great record.
You Think You Know
The romantic vibe kicks back up here as they slow back down to a more prodding pace, but all is welcome, as this lovely spacey rock tune is yet another killer. Perhaps it's just a good combination of the first two tracks. There is no denying that it's great.
Precious Holder
This is a less than two minute track with a lyrical dominance to slow things down a little.
WI via IN
This is an instrumental number with a varied cultural vibe to it, and it's easily one of the coolest tracks so far. It comes spiced up with what appears to me more instruments applied to it than detected so far. It does contain a vocal chanting effect in parts, but no words.
Half Moon Eyes
It takes a while for this one to sink it, but it winds up containing bursts of  energetic volume, and at the same time a very melancholy vocal. The mixture here is one of the more diverse approaches on offer, and the various instruments and sampling encompass notes that perfectly intertwine. It’s similar to the mix displayed on the previous track, but the vocals reappear.
MCO
This starts off kind of spooky and goes into full blown IH mode as it establishes the album’s consistency. It goes on to be one of the featured tracks and another killer point on the disc.
On Your Side
The consistency simply continues on this brilliant track. This probably has the most Floydian factors in terms of song structure rather than style, as it's more like Gabriel era Genesis. More space-rock is the vibe going on here. This is cool stuff indeed, as good as anything in the set.
In Sept.
This is yet another awesome track with cool soundscapes and samples and a nice falsetto. As with the rest of the disc, this is right up my alley.
Used To Be
A great closer this one is. It showcases many of the same features we’ve heard throughout for a well blended way to end a fine record and keep listeners intrigued and hungering for more.

 

 

 
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