The Icarus Line are not the boys that parents want to meet or police want to greet. The LA band has been 86'd from more clubs than Isaac Brock. Eons before those chemical romance twerps even heard of red eyeliner, The Icarus Line were destroying priceless memorabilia at the Hard Rock Cafe, throwing guitars like Olympic javelins into the lights high above the stage at the Roxy Theatre, spray painting $ucking dick$ on the tour van of The Strokes, and attempting to massacre all of Avenged Sevenfold.
Black Lives At The Golden Coast opens with the repeat of "I don't care," the tattooed mantra of this volatile ball of energy, reminiscent of incomprehensible madmen Drive Like Jehu, At The Drive In, or The Jesus Lizard. This album has a lot more finesse than previous recordings, punching and kicking like an experienced prize fighter rather than a wild eyed freshman. The pitfall of any core/metal/punk/rawk band is that they ultimately, with good intentions, plunge deep into the somber territory once ruled by The Cure.
"Fshn Fvr" is a 3:20 loop of the lyrics "red eyes," which sound like young Peter Hayes of BRMC covering "A Night Like This" from The Head On The Door. Ok, you don't want associations? Fine. Then try downloading "Victory Gardens" and tell me with a stone straight face that it doesn't immediately scream "With Or Without You" from U2.
"Amber Alert," as scary as a song title as they come, feels like I'm watching that new Marilyn Manson video where old Brian Warner effs his new girlfriend really damn rotten. This is a certified spook track, creepy slow and killer quiet, like a long hunting knife. The fatal blow of the 12-song cockeyed collection is "Kingdom," the 7:57 sound splash that shreds then serenades like a colossal Muse opus, which flares wildly into a noxious gash of evanescence.
Despite having a song named "Slayer" this is not the ear bleeding, mask wearing, brain beating rock record from moshing years of old. It is possible that after Aaron North went south, the Buddyhead outbreak that pissed off everyone in the industry from Courtney Love to Fred Durst, has finally cooled the screaming jets. This album, albeit feral, retains a melancholia not experienced on previous Icarus Line eruptions. We must always remember that the revolving doors of music constantly swing back around, opening new passageways for the next batch of cutting edge, or Cutting Crew, which isn't as devastatingly boring as one would think, as long as kids don't start paying homage to Bobby McFerrin or Rick Springfield.