Rock and Reprise.net
With apologies to The Groundhogs, whose classic 1972 album of that title vaulted me into the world of T.S. McPhee's mutant blues/rock and changed my life! Well, it might have. Who knows what I would have become had I not heard it? Truth be told, I could not resist the reference. The Icons' Appointment With Destiny mirrors not only the comic book album jacket, but the reverent/irreverent attitude which put The Groundhogs on my map. Okay, maybe they don't sound a bit like one another musically--- or do they? They both have overamped brash guitar and they both want to save the world. Let me think. There has to be something else.... Hey, both bands know how to play their instruments! That's something, right? Oh, yeah, and they're superheroes. What more do you want?
I know what I want. Music. And The Icons give it up in spades. In fact, they are better than they were 25 years ago. In double fact, they are the only band I can point to who are better than they were 25 years ago. Maybe it is because 25 years ago they didn't appreciate what they had. Maybe they've learned. Hell, maybe we need them to save the world or at least save us from it. Things out there ain't pretty, folks, and the harder we look for heroes and talk about them (Hell, all you have to do to be a hero in today's world is live long enough), there are damn few to be found.
I think I echo the sentiments of the few remaining sane people when I say that I am tired of looking. I would rather sit in the basement, soak up my brew of choice (at present root beer for some odd reason) and wallow in the comic book and music world of The Icons. Their music reflects that punk attitude I thought refreshing back in the seventies when FM radio started becoming less underground and more corporate. Their slam/bang guitar and pounding rhythms wake me up to why I loved The Wailers and The Sonics back in the day and why bands I never would have listened to in the Sixties (Iggy Pop, Dead Boys, Richard Hell & the Voidoids) later became solid favorites.
If you like your music a bit brash with a side of attitude, you really should check this out. It is worth it for the comic insert alone--- ?The Icons in... ?Enter the Dehumanizer?, a Marvel-ish look at saving the world one maggot at a time. The references to Nick Cave are understated and outwardly laughable and the cartoon work a mind blast. Green Monkey has even left it open-ended for possible future episodes. Hopefully, to be included in future albums.
An aside: One thing I have missed since the advent of CDs is the two-sided disc. This is not one, but they give a semblance on the back of the CD cover. Just the fact that the tracks are broken up into two bubble windows cheers me up. Yeah, that's how easy I am. I must be getting old.
I have to give Mastermind (aka Tom Dyer) credit. In fact, all of The Icons. The years have not diluted their view of life nor the humor in it, nor has it jaded them. They know what they want and if it is to save the world, who are we to stand in their way?
An afterthought: Downloads are fine as far as they go, but when a comic book package like this comes along, it just won't do. If every label and artist put as much thought into their packages as Green Monkey and The Icons, there would be solid reasons to buy physical product. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to get a root beer. I plan on spending my afternoon in my recliner sipping brew, listening to Appointment With Destiny and reading the CD jacket and comic insert. I don't care what they say. Sundays seldom get better than this.
Frank O. Gutch Jr.
Supporting the Indies Since 1969