Icarus the Owl - The Spotless Mind
Record Label: Self-Released
Release Date: July 2009
Who exactly is Icarus the Owl? Back before June of 2009, there was a band called Kill Your Ex from Portland, OR. With what was seemed to be a quiet end to Kill Your Ex, lead singer Joey Rubenstien picked up where KYE left of with this band. Quickly, they were in the studio recording their first album, and then, once that was released, they went off onto Warped Tour to promote their album.
The Spotless Mind is an album that's very hectic and all over the place. That's not to say it's a bad thing, however. Nearly all of these songs have some tapping which gives a very fast-paced feel. A perfect example of this is "The Extortionist," which right off the bat starts with some heavy tapping and double bass with Joey singing lyrics like, "Next time I spill my guts, you will know it / And there is not a damn thing you can do about it / Iíve poured my soul into the hands of scheming liars / And watched them crumple it all up in their fingers." While Joey's singing voice quite unique, the lyrics Icarus the Owl have put into this album are quite dark, which makes for an engrossing album. Opening track "Running From Lacuna" is a song that seems to be about a very devious girl who cheats, but even though she does so, the male (presumably Joey) can't help but always love her. "Game of Jenga" is one of the few songs that aren't completely dark and is sure to hook newcomers to this band. It's an all around romantic, cutesy song that we find in most albums nowadays. Admittedly, it is a tiny bit more catchy, with the lyrics and Joey singing "I love your whimper when you're sad / You're the best kiss I've ever had / I wish you cared / I wish you were here."
That's not to say The Spotless Mind is a perfect album in any vein. When I'm listening to some of these songs, "La Charliere," for example, I completely forget what genre this band is. While that might be a good thing, indicative of a band that isn't doing the same thing for all fourteen tracks, I find it interesting when they're start off with some heavy, hardcore sounds and end up in what, to me, feels like an end to some random alternative or punk band. The tapping, while relatively unique, does get boring and almost sounds similar in some songs.
All negatives aside, for a self-released full length album, Icarus the Owl has done a fantastic job on making an album that is catchy and full of awesome sounds that will have you interested for quite a long time. Fans of Kill Your Ex will more than likely be pleased with the direction Joey went with Icarus the Owl. If ITO continue down the path that they've laid out for themselves, they could be finding themselves with more fans and a great amount of success.