Wednesday, March 18, 2009

2 Albums You Probably Don't Own, But Should

back in the summer of 2004 a little band from LA called The Icarus Line put out an album that was some kind of motherfucking kick ass good called Penance Soiree. and it totally restored my faith in the power of rock and roll and also reminded me that all a record needs to do is rock and you will love it forever. unfortunately not many people cared enough to follow my blind love and devotion to a band that was mostly known for being assholes and smashing glass cases containing guitars once played by Stevie ray Vaughn. (and event that i witnessed live in shocked amazement)

well that was your loss America. it’s been a few years now and the Icarus Line are still where they were back then, an underground LA rock band that not many people care about. but that never changed the fact that they had made one of the best albums of 21st century rock and you should still buy it if you are into that kind of thing.

this is the review i wrote for it back in 2004:

if you like REAL rock n’ roll with fucking balls then buy this shit. sounds like Drive Like Jehu, The Birthday Party, Jesus & Mary Chain, and Black Flag all got in a fight while doing tons of coke off a strippers tits and then the survivors started a band that could only play fucked up Stooges’ covers. fuck that! that’s the easy review. this shit sounds like god talking to you the first time you did really strong acid and discovered that you were stupid for being too punk to like Led Zeppelin so then you threw away your Jawbreaker records (which you later had to rebuy) and bought Black Sabbath’s self titled album and then just listened to The Wizard over and over again until you fucking were a wizard. so fucking heavy. like Sabbath heavy. which is to say the kind of heavy that kicks you in the ass. these riffs will cut down fucking trees. and loud, like jesus lizard loud where it splits your ear drum in two. it’s the perfect soundtrack for a night of hard drinking and dirty sex with a girl whose name you never bothered to learn. i’m sure you can find it in a used cd bin somewhere or you can steal in online. it’s worth the space on your itunes, trust me.

here's the video for their single Party The Baby Off.

and here's the video for Up Against The Wall, Motherfucker

my next album that you should own is from a little known and unheralded band from the great state of Alabama called Verbena. they were best remembered or forgotten as that band Dave Grohl produced and tried to make sound like Nirvana, which is about what he got. i discovered Verbena sometime around 1998 when i was fully into the whole hardcore scene and had largely forgotten about my grunge rock roots. well luckily for me my kid brother read about this band in an issue of guitar world. Verbena was described as a southern rock Nirvana…and being that Nirvana was and always will be my favorite band of all time we both decided to check out whatever record of theirs we could find. the album we discovered was 1997’s Souls For Sale.

Souls For Sale was everything i wanted out of a rock record that i wasn’t getting from the emo/hardcore albums that were dominating my cd player in 1997-98. it was a raw riffs and rough vocals with a wonderful southern twang. the best way to describe the record was a perfect combination of Bleach era Nirvana trying their best to sound like Sticky Fingers era Rolling Stones. opener “hot blood” and track #5 “the desert” shred, while moody “junk for fashion” and the wild horses-like “the song that ended your career” showed that the band could write a good sad song as well. the guitar work on the album is phenomenal. and the lyrics are great. every song is catchy and memorable and makes you wanna drink a bottle of whiskey and forget that girl who broke your fucking heart back in 1996. it really is one of the hidden gems of the late 90s’ alternative/indie rock scene and if they’d put this album out in 2001 they’d have been huge stars. instead they got lost in the shuffle of late 90s Nu-Metal/rap rock/fake grunge Creed-like schlock. which is to say they never had a chance. if you love the sound of a cranked to 11 rock band playing bluesy heavy and catchy as hell rock this is the album you’ve been missing out on. i highly recommend.

here's a video for their best song Baby Got Shot from their equally awesome follow up record, Into The Pink (go ahead and buy that one too).


  1. I remember the glory days of Verbena ... playin' shows in the AU and whatnot ... wait, those were my glory days, not Verbena's. Psh.

  2. i don't think Verbena ever got to have any glory days since Capital records totally buried their record and they couldn't get a sniff of radioplay or video time vs the likes of Limp Bizkit, Korn, and Creed. god the late 90s were a terrible time for music.

  3. I dunno, '96-'98 was pretty hot for radio. For just a second, it seemed like college rock was going to evolve into this commercial juggernaut, but I think y2k freaked everybody out and they decided shitty "rap/rock" was the way to go. It was unfortunate.

    And, you're right, Verbena didn't really get any glory days ...