Icarus Line: "The Big Sleep"


By Amir Nezar | 20 July 2005

If I were the hyperbolic sort I’d go right ahead and say that “The Big Sleep” is the best rock song of the past five years, and you wouldn’t think anyone even knew it. But for the sake of conservative judgment, let’s just say that it’s the best track off the underrated Penance Soirée, which is (less hyperbole this time), easily one of the 20 best rock albums of the decade so far.

I mean, would you just listen to this fucking thing? Opening with a menacing lazy note that turns into an intensified, sleazy, overdriven strum, you can feel the fuck-you energy of the track just getting ready to rip when Joe Cardamone leans into the track with some mumbled junk about making good on all his bets and doing what hasn’t killed “us” yet, and... well, probably junk. And sex. And other rock and roll things.

And then the track just kind of grows more and more menacing as guitars start “WWOOoooing” and growling, and then the whole thing just completely fucking explodes and you’ve got killer drum fills with a beat-the-shit-out-of-you riff. The song then proceeds to show any other rock
acts cojones to be mere marbles by comparison, chugging through relentless six-string hooks, bass work, and Cardamone’s frankly phenomenal rock howls. Oh yeah, and it’s technically proficient, switching rhythm and time-signature gears, wheeling through sick effects, interlocking guitar parts, and generally rendering idiotic all the critics who panned the album for being “all attitude and no substance.” Seriously, if you’re one of the morons who shot this album down for that reason, or any other one, really then go learn a few things about music theory, get over your B.S. “originality” fixation, and offer the Icarus Line an apology. I hope they punch you in the face and spill beer on you anyway.