Icarus Witch

Roses on White Lace

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After the Nirvana/Pearl Jam/grunge/Seattle upheaval took place in the early '90s, it was clear that the Baby Boomer generation was no longer running the show in rock. All of a sudden, alt rockers were the tastemakers -- and if someone born in the '50s didn't care for Courtney Love, Stone Temple Pilots, rap-metal, or hip-hop, MTV certainly wasn't going to lose any sleep over it. But whenever change, upheaval, or evolution occur in music, there will inevitably be some retro musicians who prefer the way a previous generation did things. That's why there are jazz improvisers who were born in the '70s or '80s but spend much of their time listening to bop recordings from the '40s and '50s, and it's why Icarus Witch is a 2000s band with a '70s/'80s-style approach to heavy metal. Roses on White Lace isn't a CD that combines Gen-X and Baby Boomer influences; there are some bands that can legitimately claim both Led Zeppelin and Slipknot as influences, but Icarus Witch isn't one of them. Although formed in 2004, Icarus brings nothing but Baby Boomer influences to this 17-minute EP -- influences like Ronnie James Dio, Rainbow, Judas Priest, WASP, Fates Warning, and Queensr├┐che. A totally old-school approach to metal prevails whether Icarus is providing four original songs or covering Alice Cooper's "Roses on White Lace"; Icarus' melodic yet hard-driving work is an unapologetic throwback to a pre-'90s, pre-grunge, pre-death metal, pre-rap-metal, pre-metalcore era -- and while the Pittsburgh residents aren't the least bit original, they're enjoyably good at what they do. Retro has its place as long it's good retro, and this EP is a decent debut for Icarus. Some longtime headbangers will hear Roses on White Lace and think "Been there, done that" -- true enough -- but in Icarus Witch's case, it's worth doing again.

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