Now Hear This

The Icarus Line
Wednesday, April 21, Bluebird Theater, 303-322-2308.
Punk isn't dead, kids -- it's just obsolete and boring as hell these days. But you know that. You don't shop at Hot Topic. Nonetheless, if any band has embodied the true spirit of punk in recent years, it's been the Icarus Line (below) -- not aesthetically, mind you, but ideologically. From spray-painting the words "$uckin' Dick$" on the Strokes' shaggin' wagon to violating a sacred six-string that (allegedly) once belonged to Stevie Ray in his home town, the Line is punk incarnate -- or at least it was. Emerging from the dank bowels of El Lame in 1998, the Line released a handful of seven-inches before its murderous debut was unleashed on the masses in 2001. Mono was as menacing as it was palate-cleansing. Joe Cardamone's primal screams peeled off layers of skin like a facial via sandblaster. Corrosive guitar lines bore into the skin like chiggers, while the rhythms ricocheted inside the cranium before finally settling in the spinal column and, like strategically placed squibs, proceeding to detonate each vertebra. Now, three years later, the band has set up shop in the terrordrone with a record that's as startling a progression as Nirvana's trajectory from Bleach to Nevermind. More spacious and melodic than Mono, the Line's sophomore effort and major-label debut, Penance Soiree (slated for release next month), saunters more than it lunges, floating through the cosmos like tripped-out Spacemen on a Stooges kick. -- Dave Herrera

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