The Icarus Line: Avowed Slavery

Essential mini-album from LA psych-punks.

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Billing it as a companion piece to last year’s Slave Vows, as opposed to a new album entirely, sells the five-track Avowed Slavery a little short. This is no set of half-baked offcuts. Instead it feels like an extension of its mighty forerunner, heaving with savage riffs and deliciously queasy atmospherics.

They’ve been going for some 16 years now and, having survived the protracted wobble that followed 2004’s Penance Soiree, are very much nearing a peak. Two live gems finally make their studio debuts, namely Junkadelic and the incandescent, Stooges-like Salem Slims.

Just as imperious is Leeches And Seeds, with its slashing chords and big blowouts, while epic The Father/The Priest feels like a stoner-punk cousin of Suicide’s Frankie Teardrop.

Rob Hughes

Freelance writer for Classic Rock since 2008, and sister title Prog since its inception in 2009. Regular contributor to Uncut magazine for over 20 years. Other clients include Word magazine, Record Collector, The Guardian, Sunday Times, The Telegraph and When Saturday Comes. Alongside Marc Riley, co-presenter of long-running A-Z Of David Bowie podcast. Also appears twice a week on Riley’s BBC6 radio show, rifling through old copies of the NME and Melody Maker in the Parallel Universe slot. Designed Aston Villa’s kit during a previous life as a sportswear designer. Geezer Butler told him he loved the all-black away strip.