Search and Destroy

The always-colorful Icarus Line take aim at their contemporaries.



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"NOBODY ASKS US to go out on tour because they're worried about contacts," bemoans the Icarus Line's lean, mop-topped vocalist, Joe Cardamone. "We're not that crazy. We don't stab 14-year-olds in the face or anything."

He shits you not. The Icarus Line's sharpest stilettos are reserved for the hearts and balls of their rock 'n' roll contemporaries, "rock 'n' roll" and "contemporaries" being grotesque overstatements. Their offstage antagonisms would be hilarious, relevant, and, yeah, punk as fuck, even if we weren't living in these dark days of Rolling Stone plastering Aussie Nirvana-bes the Vines on their cover beneath the unsettling proclamation, "Rock is back!"

Although the Icarus Line's lone LP, Mono, is a ferocious unraveling of tangled sexual tension (Cardamone cites the Stooges as a chief reference point), and none of the red-and-black clad quintet has hit 25, you wonder if they'll ever be recognized just for the rock. Well, don't, because everyone's having too much fun to care. Cardamone regards Mono as a respectable demo anyway, and anticipates jimmying more melody into the Line's asshole-tight din. If his band's escapades ultimately outshine its body of work, so be it. Recall this exchange from Major League:

Ricky "Wild Thing" Vaughn: I thought you had to do something good to be a celebrity.

Jake Taylor: Not if you do it colorfully.

The Icarus Line went beyond colorful at their notorious South by Southwest debacle in March. You may remember the story: Guitarist Aaron North (also a contributor at, the merciless pop-culture Cuisinart that releases the band's albums) flung a mike stand through a Hard Rock Café ¤isplay case containing a Stevie Ray Vaughan guitar, then, to the chagrin of many, actually tried to play the relic.

"They probably carbon copied (Vaughan's) signature on it after he died," Cardamone sneers, adding of the Hard Rock, "It's totally the gayest thing ever. They've got, like, a right-handed Kurt Cobain guitar. It's like, no, dude. I'm not buying this shit."

The fun never ends. When tourmates Cave In were selected to open for the Strokes during an off day last November, the "four-car-garage band's" bus was mysteriously tagged with "$uckin' dick$." ("Cave In wouldn't even look at us the next day," Cardamone recalls. "But it's like, who cares? The Strokes are fucking millionaires.") The Line are even embroiled in a laughable, one-sided "war" with Limp Bizkit.

Buddyhead co-founder Travis Keller "snuck into [Fred Durst's] office at Interscope and stole some of his hats," Cardamone explains. "He auctioned them off on eBay and gave all the proceeds to a rape charity. That kinda started everything. We just got lumped in with it."

Even playing with friends can be a mess. Just a few weeks ago, the Line suffered Dillinger Escape Plan's hesher Philadelphian fanatics, who sat down en masse during their set. Nobody vibed on the astute "frolicking" metaphors in the Icarus single "Feed a Cat to Your Cobra," or noticed the Bukowski homage in call-to- activity anthem "The Rape of the Holy Mother." They just . . . sat.

"On a mainstream level, there's less and less bands we can relate to," Cardamone shrugs. "Tool's not gonna take us out on tour, you know? Who the fuck are we gonna tour with, Coldplay? I don't think so."

Poison Pens

Since 1998, has been infuriating everyone from elitist indie "dick pigs" to Velvet Rope industry swine to multimillionaire nu-metal messiahs. Its infamous gossip page is half eviscerating indictments of the latest hipster pabulum, half aggressively obscene, flat-out lies. The letters section, fake interviews, and "Rules of Rock" features are just as outlandish, a perfect antidote to the back-patting spinelessness that continues to plague rock 'n' roll. Here's a sampling of the Head's greatest hits, with spelling and grammar mercifully corrected:

From "20 Worst Albums of the Year":

"Dashboard Confessional So Impossible/ The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most. The pinnacle of mall emo. Pure evil. The scariest thing about this record is that these are the songs that will be playing when the deflowering of all those 300-pound emo gorilla girls in light blue "princess" T-shirts you see hanging around Hot Topic happens. Yikes."

From "Rules for Audiences of Rock":

"People who stand outside the whole time and never go inside to watch any of the bands should be shot in the face. Yeah, bitch, we know you don't really like the music and just use your pseudo post-emo look as a social facade to hopefully get laid and shit, but your presence at shows, besides annoying everybody and making it harder to move around, is useless. Go home and play on the Internet and revise your Makeoutclub profile, you twat."

And some various choice nuggets from the gossip page:

*"Oh, and the Hives . . . you know, the fat Swedes in ties? Well, they got sold to Warner Brothers for a million bucks. Now they can afford to send the two slobs in the band back to fat camp for the summer. Get on that, guys."

*"The singer guy with the creepy weird mustache from Korn, Jonathan Davis, had a nervous breakdown while recording the steaming pile of shit they're gonna package with a cartoon cover, call the new Korn album, and sell millions to America's lower bracket of I.Q. holders. From what we heard, mustache guy was in the studio alone doing vocals, the rest of the band was out buying new Adidas jumpsuits or something wack, and he just lost his shit. He wants to now push back the album, go back into the studio and redo all of his vocals with the entire band present. Music sucks."

*"By the way, if you liked Lord of the Rings you're a fucking nerd. Deal with it. Now give us your lunch money so we can buy drugs."

*"Saves the Day just announced their summer tour will be called 'We Think That We Really Like Men.'"

*"Madonna was letting Tupac wreck her area on a very regular basis for a number of years before he died. Score, Tupac!"

*"Rivers Cuomo has a fucking beard now! Did anyone get a load of that shit— he's going for that "pedophiliac seventh-grade-earth-science-teacher look." In about a year, all of these dorky white boy emo bands will resemble bearded kid touchers. Should be a party like Andrew W.K."

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