(Artwork care of Karen Ramsay (www.karenramsay.com), profile photo care of brianlackeyphotography.com)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

CD review - Kid Icarus, American Ghosts (2011)

Noise pop jams on a solid foundation of '80s new wave

American Ghosts' opening track, Hang Gliders quickly takes off in an exuberant wash of guitars and cymbals. Kid Icarus infuse the song with live performance energy. At the same time, the compressed mid-range mix takes me back to the lower budget sound of the DIY '80s, where lo-fi wasn't an aesthetic choice but a necessity. The band channels groups like the Replacements and Hüsker Dü, who built a sound grounded in pure enthusiasm.

While, Kid Icarus has an instinctive feel for new wave flavored indie rock, they also have some more modern influences. The bare bones darkness in the verses of Wasteland Blues snowballs into a strong post-rock/noise pop groove, buoyed by a meandering guitar line. The middle section meltdown of Bicycle Spokes II slides into Trail of Dead territory. While I enjoy the retro feel of the earlier songs, these moments separate Kid Icarus from a cloying haze of nostalgia and offers a different sensibility to appreciate their sound.

Kid Icarus may just be another independent band reaching from the shadows, but American Ghosts proves that they deserve to ripple out of their Pennsylvania scene. You should check them out. With enough support, they might get the chance to tour Colorado so I can see them. I expect their live sound is phenomenal;-).

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