American rock band Icon For Hire have released three new songs from their third upcoming album titled You Can’t Kill Us, and they’re pretty damn good. But before we get into them, a little history lesson.
Icon For Hire released their debut album Scripted in 2011 which was followed by an impressive self-titled sophomore album in 2013. Both albums were published by label Tooth and Nail Records. In 2015 they decided to split from Tooth and Nail and announced a kick starter campaign for their third LP You Can’t Kill Us which received over $100,000 in backings despite a tiny goal of $2,016. They stated that their label “only cared about sales”, not the quality of their music and that they do not own their first two albums Scripted and Icon For Hire. Members Ariel Bloomer, Shawn Jump and Adam Kronshagen wanted to create more ‘honest’ music, despite feeling proud of their first two albums. They later filed bankruptcy, and guitarist Shawn Jump fell into alcoholism (in which he has currently sobered up!).
Icon For Hire then released two singles in 2015; the rock rap track Now You Know and Bam Bam Pop, a diss track to trashy, generic pop music as their first two independent releases before drummer Kronshagen left to focus on family.
Now, we have reached 2016 in Icon history. With a very dedicated fanbase called the “Icon Army”, the band are still going strong. As apart of promotion for You Can’t Kill Us the trio turned duo now consisting of Bloomer (known as Ariel (pronounced R-E-L)) and Jump have been releasing three songs from the album every three months. This seems to be a pattern for the band, three songs, every three months, for their third studio album. Maybe this pattern will continue as they prepare for the final release.
The first releases occurred in march and included Here We Are, Supposed to Be and You Were Wrong. Three electronic alt rock songs the first of which was pretty epic. As June has reached planet Earth, so has new Icon For Hire music.
The June releases included the three songs Happy Hurts, Get Well II and Pulse; a song with heavy drums and an electronic background melody whilst lead singer Ariel asks someone (likely from their old label) “if they have a pulse”. She then starts to sing/rap about their negative experiences with Tooth and Nail records.
Get Well II sees the band releasing a sequel to the single from their debut album Scripted. A more traditional rock piece, the song discusses the band having to write songs about being outsiders and them “wearing sob stories like colours.” The song is not only the clear winner of the releases, it even tops the original with Jump’s guitar skills and the haunting electronic chords in the background.
“Happy Hurts”, which received a stop motion lyric video unlike the other two starts with a quiet synthesizer alongside Ariel’s vocals before spiraling into a piece with a prominent drums and rapping about depression. A very touching release.
Overall the releases present a clear sign of the sound You Can’t Kill Us should contain, as did the first three releases. It seems as though the duo continue their prominent rock sound whilst combining electronic elements and Ariel’s signature rapping best seen in their second LP Icon For Hire. Now it’s just time to wait for the September releases, and then eventually the release of You Can’t Kill Us. Needless to say, we’re pretty damn excited.