Thursday, February 16, 2017

Frankly, My Dear....You Can't Kill Us

There's a double reference to the title, and I will get to that shortly. One of the drawbacks to being a small time operation is that you miss things, even those things you though you were watching carefully for.

What I was waiting for was the new release by Icon For Hire, the first since their breakup with Tooth and Nail Records. Now if you've been with us for any length of time, you have probably heard me express admiration for the label, and calling founder Brandon Ebel Midas or The Kingmaker. Now his penchant for finding gems among the unsigned masses and creating stars is one thing, but that drive sometimes drives the stars away in frustration. They want to be coddled a bit more. And they go indie again. And sometimes they strike gold, but toward the end they more likely than not will come back to a label for security. It's a rough world out there.

Which brings us to You Can't Kill Us, which was released last November (I told you I missed things. It was November 25 to be exact). It's an interesting album, and I almost panned it thanks to Amazon. Now I love Amazon, The Night Beat is an Amazon Affiliate, but I think they're shell-shocked with the Music Department. I was almost driven away by their "Explicit" Tag, but getting the opportunity to listen to complete songs on YouTube convinced me that Amazon was overreacting. The hoopla centered on the song "Under The Knife" which is about cutting. It's a powerful song. There are two "problem" lines in the song, as I try to channel Amazon. "You knew the deal, nobody gives a damn" (earth to Amazon, Have You Ever Heard of Gone With The Wind. That was in 1939). And the other line contains an euphemism for Manure that has an S, an H, an I, and a T in it, in that order. Explicit? Puh-leeze. Here's the thing. There's a reason for the explicit label, and it was to protect "The Children" from shocking and obscene language. What really happened, however, was that human nature took over and the "rebellious" kids sought out anything that had the label and wouldn't listen to anything else. Still, where "F-bombs", "N-Words", and many other obscenities fill the music landscape. This? No. Not even close. Here's the lyric video, you be the judge.

On to my actual review. Like I said previously, it is an interesting album. The title would seem to imply a rebellious, angry Icon, but I don't get that vibe. It's not as skillet-esque as the debut, and a little poppy, but they are stretching their wings. 

One thing in abundance are the REL Ballads. Honestly, Ariel has one of the most beautiful ballad voices in Rock. In a lot of ways she would be perfect in a Worship setting. My favorites are War and the before mentioned Under The Knife, with Here We Are and Happy Hurts next. 

When all is said and done, I am giving You Can't Kill Us a near perfect score of 4.75 Emeralds. They are definitely stronger for the struggle. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.