The Icarus Line



by AnvilJ USER (7 Reviews)
September 20th, 2010 | 8 replies

Release Date: 2001 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Mono is sensitive, wonderfully unapologetic, hard to reach, easy to turn away from, and impossible to forget.

I’ve resolved many things in my life but have not resolved my relationship to this piece of music, and am never likely to do so. For as much as I have listened to this I cannot ever seize it. Just when I think I understand the effect of this music has on me I listen to it again and lose its grasp. For Mono is a moving target. For Mono is not a record about pleasure but one about survival.

Everything about The Icarus Line makes sense. You can hear The Doors influence. You can hear The Stooges. You can hear Big Black. It all makes sense. The Icarus Line know it makes sense, but still they turn their backs on you whilst continuing to stare you right in the face.

When someone creates something so simple and yet so complex within a five track rock song it is immediately disconcerting. It is even more disconcerting when they do not throw down a ladder but deconstruct, reconstruct, regurgitate, spew and process beauty and bile in equal measure. Mono is eloquent punk and a necessary one.

Some albums hang by a thread. Mono fuses itself on by elastic static electricity. There is no real connection but the force is strong. At any one point you can hold onto something, whether it is a phrase, a riff or a particular mood. The way the album snakes between and in-between songs is the means as to which it unnerves you. You wait for The Icarus Line to fail but they never do. They never make a mistake, and yet it seems plausible they should. By the time Mono finishes, with you waiting impatiently for them to fall, the time has passed, and you are too embarrassed to admit you did not see it coming. You thought understood everything, know the band never faltered, but can barely understand why, or place this experience even though you heard the space shuttle take off. Mono was huge, noisy and yet crept silently right through the atmosphere.

Few records blend harsh sounds and delicate sounds into a smooth experience that both continually rewards the listener and heightens the musical experience. There is nothing cheap here. Every note is expensive. Every beat is expansive. There is a heartbeat through the record. Just when in the middle of the record, things appear to be dropping down, the punk crank is slowly wound up again on ‘Feed a Cat to Your Cobra’ and tightly reminds you to get a handle on what to expect and to restructure your premature expectations of what will follow.

Every time you learn something, a musical luddite throws something back at you. But you know it. You saw it coming and you forcibly understand the lesson. Mono is your story of control. Of surrender. So just let it in. Stop trying to make sense of it. But you cannot help yourself. You do it again, and again you get caught. You collapse. Collapse from one false positive after another. This is enough to put you off relationships together. But you don’t. You get up and keep going only again to make the same mistake (again). For the reality is Mono is as impossible to understand as you are.

As a human being and as a musical listener Mono reminds you of your imperfections. Mono reminds you that the orchestration of daily life cannot be condensed into something completely knowable. Mono decrees you can only redeem your self esteem by admitting that you will never truly understand anything in totality. [i]Mono[i/] imparts that by enduring monotony you will kill a piece of your self inflicted pride, and by doing so rediscover your mind as living in disharmony with its organism. Mono is the struggle to survive.

“What’s left for us to hold on to?”

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user ratings (12)

Comments:Add a Comment 
September 20th 2010


Album Rating: 5.0

There is little like this. Not one song off the album can speak to the whole thing. I may be the only one who sees The Doors in this, but I see it vividly.

Staff Reviewer
September 20th 2010


You can hear [ i]Big Black[i/].

Never checked these guys out, though I was hearing big things around the time they were releasing Penance Soiree

September 20th 2010


Album Rating: 5.0

I would 1st Definitely listen to this first + 2nd Definitely listen to this.

This record stands alone, although I would admit it is not for everyone.

P.S. is easier work. This one never sits still.

September 20th 2010


[i]Aw rats, thought this was the band Mono[i/]

September 21st 2010



September 21st 2010


good to see this band getting some rep on here, theyre awesome

July 21st 2012


Album Rating: 4.5

Am a pure fan of noise punk so I'll go check it out

August 14th 2012


Album Rating: 4.5

This is the icarus line's daydream nation, might be worth a 4.5 at least for me, I'll give it some time before rating because it's very dense.

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