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The Icarus Line, PoD, Dublin, 2nd March 2002

New Breathe, eh? What's that all about? A series of gigs over the first weekend in March in the PoD. Good Idea. Good gigs. Bad venue. Tonight's line-up: Large Mound; the always entertaining Redneck Manifesto; and The Icarus Line, headlining of course. Not many people have heard of The Icarus Line, and that's their loss. These young (average age 20-21) punks would give noise-mongers Will Haven a run for their hard-earned cash and would definitely make other so called punk acts like Blink-182 and Sum 41 shit themselves.

Openers Large Mound played one song then spent about ten minutes tuning up. When they finally got around to finishing their set, they were merely backing music for the slowly filling PoD. Some rare moments of musical ingenuity were displayed, but ultimately died. A poor performance by the singer and the fact that their songs were about as memorable as an episode of "Fergus's Wedding" means these lads should be expecting to be a support band for a good while yet.

Now here's a band that makes music to get drunk to. The Redneck Manifesto is one of the most talked about bands gigging regularly around the capital at the moment and has won over a lot of fans. The lack of a singer can sometimes be a downfall, but with the Rednecks it just means there are less obstacles between the listener and that almighty riff. Tonight they sounded like Rage Against The Machine without Zach up front. Powerful stuff.

Icarus Line weren't expecting more than 30 or 40 people to show up and so should have been quite happy with the turnout, even if the venue was a piece of shit with nothing to make the youth of the nation feel so alive. It would be safe to safe that most people hadn't got the album since it is near impossible to find over here. The crowd being unfamiliar with the material however didn't stop these young hell-starts from attacking the stage and every piece of equipment on it.

Unmerciful and relentless, this was noisecore punk at its purest. On tape, Icarus Line are heavy. Live they come down on you like a truck filled with sledgehammers. Almost as self-destructive as Amen, they don't stop pounding 'til your ears bleed. 'Feed a cat to your cobra' was bastardised and worked into a barrage of wonderful barrage of noise and feedback. They may all have been sick (we can thank the Irish weather for that) and tired after months on the road but they put on one hell of a performance. If the Rednecks make music to drink to then Icarus Line make music to die to.

Ken McGrath

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