Review : Icarus the Owl - Qualia EP
Icarus the Owl are a Portland, OR four-piece enraptured by the wonders of finger-tapping. They like pop-punk, too, which makes it appropriate to describe their sound as something like Gatsby’s American Dream meets Minus the Bear – a potentially luscious combo.
How is it?
At four tracks, Qualia has noticeable ups and downs. The only real misfire is “Vagabond,” where the band’s seemingly compulsive need to finger-tap gets in the way of the chorus’ flow. To a much lesser degree, the same could be said for the rest of the EP: The omnipresent finger-tapping runs the risk of becoming obnoxious. But the instances where it’s used in good taste make it all worth it, like in “Mouse Trap,” where it builds a twinkling atmosphere, or in “Mythomaniac’s” mini breakdown, which is all kinds of majestic. The most exciting track is “She Taught Me Minesweeper,” a three-and-a-half minute exercise in pop-punk finesse that nails a particularly elusive quality in the genre today – memorability. Qualia is a fine reason to keep tabs on Icarus the Owl....full text
lmpmagazineIcarus The Owl is one of those bands that should have been picked up by a label long ago. Their debut full length, The Spotless Mind, released about a year ago and was quite amazing. With a sound similar to a more upbeat Circa Survive or Jet Lag Gemini, Icarus The Owl are thoroughly enjoyable and uplifting. For their new EP, titled Qualia, the band has brought us four more fun tracks. The first one, “Mouse Trap”, is instantly energetic and bouncy. It is then followed by “Mythomaniac”, a song that band actually provided me with some six or more months ago. This track is so damn good, it is still my favorite song by them even after the hundreds of times I’ve played it through. The other two, “Vagabond” and “She Taught Me Minesweeper”, carry on this blend of fast and casual. While “Vagabond” has an extra emotional personality to it, “She Taught Me Minesweeper” takes it a step further by making a chorus that just raises your spirits and gets you moving. As a whole, Qualia is another success from an underrated band you should be playing. Icarus The Owl are destined for great things, so get to know them now before they blow up. (NL)...full text
RoomthirteenThe Portland four piece continues the promise of their 2010 full length "The Spotless Mind" with another solid release, this time in the form of a four track EP which is again full of their excellent super poppy, melodic rock songs with intricate, mathy guitars. The tunes here are just as anthemic, just as catchy and if possible, more uplifting and with tracks like the excellent opener 'Mouse Trap' which soars and chugs in equal measure and 'Vagabond' on which the guitar climbs over and over in impressive waves we're treated to yet another of their seemingly endless pot of catchy tunes. Finally there's the brilliant closing track, 'She Taught Me Minesweeper' which is a master class in how to write a pop-rock tune and demands you sing along and bounce around like a nutter; it's a challenge not to like this record, we dare you to try....full text
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