Icon For Hire - You Can't Kill Us

You don't get quite as scene as Icon For Hire, but there's something special about this band. Their music is very personal for the scene crowd who often find themselves feeling alone and in need of something to give them purpose. Often times, that place of refuge is music, and the band's new album You Can't Kill Us is a testament to that.

The most noticeable element of this record is its electronics. The band has dabbled with these elements in previous records, but there's a lot more of a focus on it on You Can't Kill Us. 'Supposed To Be,' the album's intro, has big, dark, industrial synths that follow the thick rhythm guitar with powerful drive. 'Pulse' takes it a step further, trap-esque synths swimming above the uplifting lyrics and strong rhythm. The instrumental overall is pretty epic, lots of elements build up together.

As mentioned before, this album has a strong sense of closeness. The song 'Under The Knife' deals with self-harm directly, the bridge reaching an emotional climax. Before that comes in, the chorus emotionally chants, "You carved a special place for your pain / So it came back to hurt you every night / You closed your eyes and wished it all away / Until you disappeared under the knife," relating to the listeners who have felt that certain pain. Ariel Bloomer goes on a little tangent during the bridge, speaking to the listener: "It’s easy to forget where you’ve been, I guess that’s what the scars are for... I see you at my shows, scarred up from head to toe, like there’s no point even trying not to let it show... Too many feelings and not enough self control... But it bothers me, our scars are currency by which we’re measured," forgetting the song to deliver an emotional message.

The album may have a strong message, but some songs don't let it off that way. Some songs don't quite develop musically as they do emotionally. The slow ballads 'The Magic' and 'Happy Hurts' are back to back, dragging down the momentum following the powerful tracks before it. 'The Magic' has more electronic elements to it, transitioning from the energetic parts to the slower ones. 'Happy Hurts' is a piano track, stripping away some of the more upfront elements and giving it a rawer sound. Other tracks are just solid without much to show for it. There really isn't much to note about the rest of the album... The album ends on a sweet note, the pop rock epic 'Invincible' channeling more trap elements and closing track 'You Can't Kill Us' bringing the uplifting sound from the beginning of the record, but the momentum is already dead by then.

Icon For Hire continues to be a close band for some. Strong messages are told through You Can't Kill Us. The instrumentals and songs themselves may not give the messages in a strong way, but they're all there. Icon For Hire keep doing what they do best, and that's making their music personal.

Favorite Tracks: Pulse, Supposed To Be, You Can't Kill Us

Least Favorite Track: You Were Wrong

Rating: 77 / 100