It goes without saying that it takes more than dedication to the cause to make a great band, but nobody’s going to argue with the fact it counts for a lot. Wildlife, the fourth album from L.A.’s Icarus Line, oozes so much authentic rock & roll spirit you can practically smell the leather and cigarette smoke wafting from your stereo. It’s the kind of vibe you only get from bands and artists that actually walk the walk, the ones that make music not at the behest of some fat-cat record company executives but because they feel compelled to do so, and Joe Cardamone is cleary one such believer. Having doggedly stuck to his singular vision through fifteen years of disembarking band members and baffling critical indifference, Cardamone financed and produced Wildlife himself and his unhinged, all-or-nothing performance here gives the record a “Kamikaze mission” feel whilst recalling the magnetic frontmen – Jagger, Morrison, Iggy, Nick Cave – that he unashamedly idolises. It’s hard to see how Icarus Line’s new-wave garage band take on sleazy, sexy, primal punk-blues failed so spectacularly to make an impact whilst like-minded peers (the Strokes, Kings Of Leon) went on to become superstars, but take my advice and embrace it while you can; with so much of his heart and soul poured into Wildlife, one can’t help but feel if Cardamone’s labour of love hits yet another brick wall it might just tip him over the edge.
Listen: “King Baby” http://soundcloud.com/engine-face/the-icarus-line-king-baby
Wildlife is out August 29th through Cobraside and the band’s own Roar Scratch label