An LA high school punk band that has managed to maintain its cred for 13 years with a frontman oozing as much bravado as ever, to say The Icarus Line is back would be incorrect. Older perhaps, maybe even wiser, but the crass and chaotic clearly never left. Appearing on a recent 7-inch and making its way onto the new album, "We Sick" is a scuzzy slow-build, showcasing Joe Cardamone's interminable snarl and gritty production talents. Stubborn and still very much at it, Wildlife is not to be missed. Grab it August 30 from Cobraside and Roar Scratch.
Sounds like 2010 was more sombre than I remember it. Listen to this with something or someone you love and let me stowaway in your memories forever.
Of all the albums I've fallen in love with this year, there have been none that have surprised me more than Weekend's Sports. I don't think there's any particular reason for this other than that they have the sort of name my mind instantly equates with things that are hipster and beach and chill, but it's a great record, one that outdoes its lo-fi constitution to sound truly valuable in what's been a very noisy year. "End Times" is one of the best tracks on Sports (out now through Slumberland), and weirdly it's also one of the most upbeat. I guess you can't always rely on names and titles to tell you what's what, especially if you don't wanna look like a complete dick a few months down the line.
I imagine there are thousands of young men, now aged somewhere between 21 and 25, who at one point in their young lives cherished no woman more than Brody Dalle. For the retro-punk rock fraternity circa 2002, Brody was perfect: she had more tattoos, a bigger mohawk and looked like she could beat us to a pulp, and The Distillers' first two albums indulged the confused fantasies of adolescent males as in thrall to The Clash and hardcore punk as they were to their stash and, er, hardcore gunk. Spinnerette is not as much dirty fun, but Brody still sounds like she's been swallowing rocks, from her throat a feral howl backed by platforms of guitar fizz and, in Adam Freeland's slightly preposterous breakbeat remix, electro synth punishment. Brody Dalle is married, has a kid and is still harder than you'll ever be.
Sounds Like: Hole, DFA 1979, Justice
Even if their influences and sounds are about as wide-swinging and sweetly varied as what's going on in their home base of Atlanta, "Sea Level" seems the perfect introduction to the Howlies. A straight-ahead rock 'n roll burner with Chuck Berry flourishes, earworm vocal turns and lyrical allusions you could file under "CORRUPTING BABES," it's an awfully electric mission statement. Plus, they totally bark and howl like wolves. Try that out the next time you're talking to a lady. Works. Every. Time.
OH YEAH: If you wish to devour more of zee Howlies, please come back in a week's time for an extra special exclusive of brachiosaurus-sized proportions. That's nerd for gigantic. And awesome.
Sounds Like: Velvet Underground, Black Lips, The Hives