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The Icarus Line: Avowed Slavery

Essential mini-album from LA psych-punks.

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.