Icarus the Owl
Rearm Circuits


4.0
excellent

Review

by MercuryToHell CONTRIBUTOR (42 Reviews)
February 11th, 2018 | 17 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Songs first. Flashy showmanship second.

Icarus the Owl are the archetypal gap in the market. Avoiding the over-simplification of ‘what would happen if genre X met genre Y"’, the Portland quartet create a gorgeous blend of pop sensibilities and technical accomplishment with a ton of heart to hold the pieces together. On Rearm Circuits, no unfamiliar ground is trodden - which may come as a disappointment to the more prog-oriented section of their fanbase - but what they do (with no small amount of ease) is cut a very fine cross-section of the composite parts that make them so appealing in the first place.

There is no alienating tech-wankery (for want of a better phrase) on show here, nothing heavy for the sake of heavy, nothing twee for the sake of twee, just an incredibly well-structured and well-presented pop record. You may well query that final descriptor for a band that have as much to offer as Icarus the Owl do, but this is no criticism. Pop is absolutely the band’s strongest suit - that they are using their technical nous and undoubted instrumental ability to round off their already impressive song-writing chops with a flourish rather than relying on virtuosity alone is what allows them to stand out rather than end up as a droplet in the ocean of modern day progressive pleasantry. It is telling, therefore, that the centrepiece of this record is also the most accessible track - the chillingly beautiful ‘Coma Dreams’, a heartbreakingly soppy ode to leaving the rest of the world behind to create a new one with the one you love. Elsewhere, the schizophrenic but bouncy ‘Dream Shade’ and the electronically infused ‘Shadowboxing’ all scream out for the radio, but offer so much more beyond a background listen. With all of this said, however, Icarus v5.0 are by no means without teeth. The angular, chaotic strains of ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ and ‘Failed Transmissions’, for example, will please the listener with a taste for a bit more grit, adding a little of their familiar post-hardcore leanings to the melting pot.

This record is masterful at putting songs first and flashy showmanship second – a restraint that many of their peers would do well to remember. Rearm Circuits is not concerned with being cool, nor is it focused on structuring itself rigidly to the universe it creates – it’s far more whimsical than that – but each song is created with an organic passion and flair that can’t help but bring a smile to one’s face.



Recent reviews by this author
The Weeknd My Dear Melancholy,Foo Fighters Concrete and Gold
Black Malachite We All Come To An EndCalvin Harris Funk Wav Bounces, Vol. 1
Stevens / Dessner / Muhly / McAlister PlanetariumMaximo Park Risk To Exist
user ratings (63)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
MercuryToHell
Contributing Reviewer
February 10th 2018


1292 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

So, I'm back.



Relatively short one for now while I'm getting a feel for writing back, but if I keep holding off doing something I love, I'll fall out of love with it, and y'all are too addictive to leave behind.

Papa Universe
February 10th 2018


13481 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

hello

Digging: Filthy Young Impalers - Pattern Blue

clavier
Contributing Reviewer
February 11th 2018


567 Comments


Keep on writing more! This reads very cleanly, you've got a groove going

Allergist
February 12th 2018


154 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Looks good

MuhNamesTyler
February 12th 2018


6261 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Finally a review and a good one at that. Mental pos



Good album good band

GreyShadow
February 12th 2018


2193 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

YES a review for this and a great one at that. I would point listeners to the other two heavier tracks "Hidalgo's Secret Hideout" and "The Vanishing Point" instead but that's me. I'll always say, this band isn't special because they are technical but rather because they are amazing songwriters with the technicality of them just being a bonus.





Digging: Invalids - Fulfillment EP

GreyShadow
February 12th 2018


2193 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I don't think this is everyone's 4.5 but I will say it gets better with each listen and I'm almost always in the mood to jam this.

MercuryToHell
Contributing Reviewer
February 14th 2018


1292 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's definitely improving with every listen for me too - definitely early contender for AOTY list come December!

GreyShadow
February 14th 2018


2193 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

this was from 2017/was my 2017 AOTY

MercuryToHell
Contributing Reviewer
February 14th 2018


1292 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Of course. I keep forgetting its technically old!

GreyShadow
February 17th 2018


2193 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

The end of Doublesleep is easily one of the best moments in their discography

ProjectFreak
March 23rd 2018


2613 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

So glad this got a review, not sure how I missed it initially. But yeah the end of Doublesleep is breathtaking, and this is definitely their best album.



let's get controversial, rank their top 10

1. Love Always, Leviathan

2. DoubleSleep

3. Peak and Valley Lines

4. Coma Dreams

5. The Hum of a Ceiling Light

6. What We Had Was Never Love

7. In Aeternum

8. Esophagus

9. Skysweeper

10. Ignore Check Engine Lights

GreyShadow
April 9th 2018


2193 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

sick list. cool to see Esophagus



10 Chronos, The Destroyer

9 Running From Lacuna

8 Mantis

7 Chemicals and Flesh

6 Werewolf Tea Party

5 In Aeternum

4 Touchstone

3 The Pharmacist

2 Pilot Waves

1 Love Always, Leviathan

GreyShadow
April 9th 2018


2193 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Peak and Valley Lines, Doublesleep, Ghosts of Former Lives, and Input. Time. Destruct. are all really close too

Feather
April 15th 2018


4316 Comments


Just saw these guys live and they were incredible. Really spot on. I've always enjoyed them, but I have never gotten heavy enough into them to come close to making a ranking of top songs.

GreyShadow
April 16th 2018


2193 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

they ended up not going to NY this tour which makes me kinda sad considering i've seen them for the past 3 Aprils minus this one.

Maybe they'll finally get a headliner soon. If Eidola and Stolas could, I'm sure these guys can.

Feather
April 16th 2018


4316 Comments


Good Tiger was headlining and they were honestly by far my least favorite. Megosh was the opener and they were my favorite. Weird tour tbh.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy