You were wrong all along, try to break me, make me strong – ‘You Were Wrong’
Listen guys, you know I sneak one in on you now and again. Between the death growls and insane guitar solos, lurking in the shadows of my black soul is a tiny light pulsating to the “oonce oonce” beat of some forget-me-now tunes. This little light of mine dances with abandon to Icon for Hire’s You Can’t Kill Us.
The Nashville duo of vocalist Ariel Bloomer (Ariel) and guitarist Shawn Jump construct 13-tracks blending alt-rock and hip-hop electronica into something ironically delicious. Ariel delivers bold lyrics with forked-tongue-in-cheek fervor. The aptly titled “Pulse” lub-dubs a beat underneath some clever lines like “cross your heart and hope to dilute it down.” In “Happy Hurts” Icon for Hire delivers an honest conversation about the struggle to find peace with the monsters under your bed. “My favorite parts of myself make the least sense. All the cracks in my skin let the light in,” and “a little less victim, a little more victory” rival some of the best battle cries against self-pity. In This Moment fans take note: Ariel’s delivery of “Under the Knife” and title track “You Can’t Kills Us” channels Maria Brink so much, you can bet I’ll track both their tour schedules, should those genres ever cross paths. (Are you listening, Rock Gods?)
You Can’t Kill Us has a duality that appeals to me. I can play this in the background with ease, or I can turn off the lights and let the message in. Either way, Icon for Hire honored the highest-funded Kickstarter campaign of 2016 with a brilliant CD of catchy tunes, and a unique vocalist whose voice and message I’d love to emulate in 2017.