Technology plays a huge role in our lives nowadays. Try to count the number of screens you view a day and you’ll start to really appreciate what it does for us. These tools can be used for pretty much anything. Icarus The Owl, being one of the most technical bands that I have ever heard, has used these tools throughout every aspect of their band’s growth.
The members met via social networking websites in 2009 when they were all looking for a similar thing, and I am grateful that they did. The singer/guitarist for the band, Joey Rubenstein, has mentioned that he records vocal melodies on his phone so he doesn’t forget them, and once he has worked out a very complex part for guitar, he writes it into a computer program called Guitar Pro so he can build on it. If you have any musical training, then you can understand the technical complexities these guys are working with for their music.
Slabtown is a small, cozy bar, and the bands playing there had no issue flooding the space with the energetic atmosphere that normally accompanies a larger venue. The other acts (which included other acts such as She Preaches Mayhem, Stolas, and headliner, Hail The Sun) were surprisingly fun, and they even managed to inspire a chaotic three-man mosh pit in the small, tightly packed crowd.
Icarus The Owl’s set was powerful and entertaining. There were members of the crowd who were unfamiliar with their music, but could be seen nodding approval to their friends. The set opened with “Black Fish”, a song off of Icarus The Owl’s self titled album, which features frequent time signature changes, fluid finger-tapped guitars, and powerfully in-sync drums and bass. Other songs included ultra-catchy “Nuclear Towns” and the very technical “The Extortionist”. Their final piece was the dynamic 7-minute-musical-journey “Love Always, Leviathan”. Aside from the frequent time signature changes, the first half of this piece seems pretty similar to other alt-rock songs. That is, until the mellow, haunting bridge arrives and slowly builds until the energy can no longer be contained and it explodes into the hypnotic, skull-shattering ending.
The way these guys seamlessly blend their technical prowess into catchy, complicated music is beyond talent, and I look forward to seeing where they go with their careers. Icarus The Owl is playing the final show of their current tour tonight in Chico, CA at 1078 Gallery.