12 Songs, 42 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Icon for Hire’s self-titled sophomore album bristles with defiant attitude while trading in a pop-punk sound that’s both abrasive and catchy. The Decatur, Ill.–based quartet avoids the sophomore slump with a set of cheeky, sonically aggressive tunes loaded with airplay potential. Lead singer Ariel slinks, preens, and exhorts her way through these tracks, radiating the brassiness of Dale Bozzio fused with the kooky charisma of Gwen Stefani. “Cynics & Critics,” “Nerves," and “Pop Culture” are typical of the swagger she brings to the band’s takedowns of superficiality and materialism. Her rapping skills are on full display in “Sugar and Spice,” a jittery yet buoyant tune loaded with electronic whooshes and guitar crunch. Angst spews freely in tunes like “Think I’m Sick,” tempered by the introspective balladry of “Rock and Roll Thugs.” The band displays a taut yet playful energy as it veers from the hard pop of “Sorry About Your Parents” to the metal-tipped techno of “Counting on Hearts.” Though its Christian-music beginnings aren't always evident here, Icon for Hire still makes it clear that its rebel anthems are on the side of life, love, and spiritual honesty.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Icon for Hire’s self-titled sophomore album bristles with defiant attitude while trading in a pop-punk sound that’s both abrasive and catchy. The Decatur, Ill.–based quartet avoids the sophomore slump with a set of cheeky, sonically aggressive tunes loaded with airplay potential. Lead singer Ariel slinks, preens, and exhorts her way through these tracks, radiating the brassiness of Dale Bozzio fused with the kooky charisma of Gwen Stefani. “Cynics & Critics,” “Nerves," and “Pop Culture” are typical of the swagger she brings to the band’s takedowns of superficiality and materialism. Her rapping skills are on full display in “Sugar and Spice,” a jittery yet buoyant tune loaded with electronic whooshes and guitar crunch. Angst spews freely in tunes like “Think I’m Sick,” tempered by the introspective balladry of “Rock and Roll Thugs.” The band displays a taut yet playful energy as it veers from the hard pop of “Sorry About Your Parents” to the metal-tipped techno of “Counting on Hearts.” Though its Christian-music beginnings aren't always evident here, Icon for Hire still makes it clear that its rebel anthems are on the side of life, love, and spiritual honesty.

TITLE TIME
3:22
3:15
4:02
3:49
3:17
3:23
3:34
3:46
3:36
2:54
3:47
3:59

About Icon for Hire

Icon for Hire are an anthemic, guitar-based rock band from Illinois. Formed in Decatur in 2007, Icon for Hire feature vocalist Ariel Bloomer, guitarist Shawn Jump, bassist Josh Kincheloe, and drummer Adam Kronshagen. Although they do not call themselves a Christian rock band, as with their influences U2 and Paramore, many of their songs deal with spiritual themes. Between 2007 and 2009, the band released two EPs and toured much of the Midwest, building a loyal fan following along the way. They released their debut full-length album, Scripted, on Tooth & Nail Records in 2011. In 2013, Icon for Hire returned with their self-titled sophomore album on Tooth & Nail, which debuted at number 66 on the Billboard 200 and featured the single "Cynics & Critics." Citing creative, ideological, and technical differences, they left Tooth & Nail in 2015 and set up a Kickstarter fund to fuel their upcoming fourth studio long-player. The resulting You Can't Kill Us was released independently the following year. ~ Matt Collar

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