Friday, March 29, 2013

Jukebox: Icarus The Owl - Jaguar Shark

"Jaguar Shark" is a standard Icarus the Owl song. Make of that what you will, but there's no way around it - it's something which is so characteristic of the band that almost no one else could have written it, and one listen without context will make anyone say, "Yep, sounds like Icarus the Owl." Personally, I believe it's a very good thing that "Jaguar Shark" sticks to the same formula as what made Love Always, Leviathan such a stellar album. You've got the same quasi-nonsensical title and lyrics, you've got the same "instrumental acrobatics" which fellow writer Jacob Royal loved in his earlier review, you've got the same powerful Joey Rubenstein pop-punk vocals, and you've got the same mathy feel, especially with the kicking and pounding drums. And, to be honest, I'm perfectly happy with this. Though "Jaguar Shark" isn't quite up to snuff with the best of Love Always, Leviathan, it's still a very solid song in its own right. It feels like more of a maze than much of the group's other work in that it's more heavily distorted and foggy than other songs, and as a result it's more akin to their earlier album, The Spotless Mind, which I personally think is a fair bit weaker than the excellent Love Always, Leviathan, my second-favorite album of last year. However, the similarities "Jaguar Shark" demonstrate to the band's earlier work mean different things to different people. And even though I liked the best off Love Always, Leviathan more than "Jaguar Shark," it's still a very solid song, a roller-coaster ride that picks the listener up early and shoots him straight off to the end of the ride. "Jaguar Shark" should whet people's appetites for Icarus the Owl's upcoming EP, and since it's a strong song in its own right it deserves to do so.

You can stream the song here.


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