I wasn’t a big fan of Icon For Hire’s debut record, Scripted. It was a lot of cliched female fronted rock and roll. There were some solid moments and a handful of catchy hooks but overall I failed to connect with the record.
The band’s new self-titled record is both an improvement and a minor step backwards. The band’s sound is more concise and focused. Part of that focus moves into Icon For Hire embracing a heavy pop influence on their sound. It’s kind sounds like Paramore as a Nicki Minaj dubstep band. Ok, that might be a little far, but it sure paints a certain image in your head.
Icon For Hire’s strong suit is their upbeat catchy rock and roll. Cynics and Critics is an attention grabber that kicks off the record. It has an underlying dubstep feel on the pre-chorus but gives the track an interesting electronic vibe. The song is miles ahead of any of the band’s previous work and it’s a great start to the record. Nerves feels like an anthem for the youth. It has more electronic elements and you can get a feel for Icon For Hire’s musical shift. Sugar Spice has an almost rapped verse. It doesn’t feel forced, and the chorus hits you with all it’s catchiness that you don’t mind the oddity of the track.
Hope Of Morning is a low key ballad. The first of a couple (Slow Down and Fix Me are the others). They’re solid tracks and they give the record a respite but the songs just don’t do that much for.
Pop Culture, Watch Me, and Rock and Roll Things continue the lyrical theme of disconnecting from the world around us and finding our own way. Think I’m Sick is my favorite track on the record. It kind of reminds me of No Doubt right before they broke up. Electronic pop with a hint of rock and roll spirit, while being super catchy and makes you want to dance.
I like Icon For Hire’s growth and maturity. The band built something on their debut, and improved on it. This record has all the makings to be a huge record for Icon For Hire.