Icon for Hire "Scripted"
by Grant Yoder (cmaddict.com) on 2011-08-14 17:55:22

My initial reaction to Icon for Hire's national debut album is fantastic. Edgy guitar riffs and great hooks led by great lyrics. Think of a lighter version of Evanescence or a pop rock version of Paramore. As the album moves on, however, each of the songs begin to sound like the last. The melody lines seem to be interchangeable and instrumental layers that seem overly complicated including double and triple layers of vocals that seem to follow the melody. Within this, however, there are some shining moments.

I love the tongue-in-cheek band name especially when it's coupled with the album title: "Scripted". Explains frontwoman Ariel, "We're basically making fun of how our culture makes idols out of musicians, but at the same time, we have a responsibility to listeners to really make sure we're living the best lifestyle we can live. Even the album title has a bit of irony and sarcasm to it. It's commenting in the fact that society seems to force us to conform to a certain way of saying things, almost like everything's fake and polished, but what we did instead was make a record that's really honest, raw, and genuine." I'm willing to back anyone who is willing to take on the very machine that can make them mega-stars. They appear to be very grounded and humble. A trait that comes with the hard work and sacrifice that each band member has made to get to where they are.

A couple tracks stick out for me. the first is "Only a Memory". Frontwoman, Ariel, is able to stretch those vocal chords and show you what kind of power she holds. A great and passionate ballad that is somewhat stripped down to basics. It gives you the chance to belt it out right along with them. The second is "Get Well". A little 80's synth meets Paramore which is very cool. Every listener can pull encouragement from the lyrics of this track. As Ariel says "we want to encourage people to quit letting the past ruin your life. So many people were molested, abused, have messed up home lives or are dealing with their parents getting divorced, but we’re trying to make a statement about getting over the past to the point of not just being healthy, but actually being happy.” That's really what you get from this band, commitment to writing powerful lyrics.

Overall this album is very good, but left me wanting more. There are some monster hooks with amazing guitar chops and driving drums that lead even better lyrics. These songs will stick in your head for the rest of your day. Ultimately I think this group has legs and I'm excited to see where their evolution takes them.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Genre: Rock/Alt
Label: Tooth and Nail
Release Date: August 23, 2011
Buy it: Amazon MP3

1. Overture 0:30
2. Theater 2:42
3. Make A Move 3:03
4. Get Well 2:57
5. The Grey 3:27
6. Off With Her Head 3:05
7. Fight 3:00
8. Up In Flames 2:48
9. Iodine 2:32
10. Only A Memory 3:51
11. Pieces 3:54

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