Thursday, November 7, 2013

Icon for Hire Change Things Up On New Album

Icon for Hire have changed things up in a big way. Their debut Scripted had a very hard rock sound mixing in pop-punk and alternative metal with elements of electronic music.
Last month they released their sophomore album Icon for Hire. The album mixes in a variety of styles of music including hip hop, dubstep and post-hardcore which was prevalent on their earlier EPs. Their previous album had singer Ariel getting her Hayley Williams on and this album is no different. On highlights like the rockers "Sugar & Spice" and "Rock and Roll Thugs" Ariel gets very into her roll as vocalist. The band are at their best when they're rocking hard. "Nerves" and the first single "Cynics & Critics" are album highlights. "Pop Culture" and "Sorry About Your Parents" are also both great examples of this.
Some of the album's tracks aren't as good as others. "Hope of Mourning" has a beautiful chorus but the rest of it is just there. "Watch Me" is an interesting hip hop inspired song but it just doesn't hold up to the rest of the songs. "Slow Down" is a decent song but there is nothing special about it. "Fix Me" is the album's lone true ballad and it isn't as good as "Only a Memory" from their debut.
While these songs aren't that great, others make up for it. "Think I'm Sick" is catchy and thumping and an all in all enjoyable listen and "Counting on Hearts" is a great way to end the album. Starts out very hip hop but then the band sets in.
While Icon for Hire's self-titled album isn't better than their debut Scripted it is a good step forward. It shows experimentation and thinking outside of the box. In hard rock that's something that isn't done too often.

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