Album Review: Icarus The Owl Returns With ‘Rearm Circuits’, Out 12/1

After a trying two years for Icarus The Owl, the Portland band is back and ready to release their latest album Rearm Circuits. From being in Paris during the devastating terror attacks, to an unforeseen 7 month hiatus, the band was truly tested when making this album; singer Joey Rubenstein explains, saying “So much has happened to us in the last two years. I am ecstatic that we made it out the other side with what I feel is easily our best record.” Agreeing with Rubenstein, they turned their hardships into absolutely haunting art, making this album an absolute pleasure that will fill both your dreams and nightmares. In what is their 2nd album after being signed to Will Swan of Dance Gavin Dance’s label, Blue Swan Records in 2015, but 5th release over all, Icarus The Owl has made something absolutely monumental with a spectrum of emotional lyrics and melodies juxtaposed by insanely catchy guitar riffs.

Influenced by late 90’s/early 00’s punk rock, the albums drips with the same passion intensity we once saw in that era– giving Rearm Circuits a sense of tangible familiarity and nostalgia, while also being so new and different for 2017. The sound of the album due to the before mentioned influence is magnetic, fast hitting, and stimulating as the melodic band takes you on nothing short of a journey to the core of who they are over the course of 12 tracks. Speaking about how his influences shaped the band and this album, Rubenstein says “I grew up listening to fast and melodic punk music. Late 90’s Fat wreck and Epitaph bands were my lifeblood. We wanted to capture the essence and energy of a genre I hold so dear, but insert our style into it.” Given the dark times the band had to wade through to make this album, and by association the headspace they must have been in as a result while writing, their choice utilize the punk sounds of early Epitaph works in adding a fire to what would otherwise be a very dark album. Further, the album is dynamic, it’s different, it’s addicting; I personally love and appreciate a band that shows their passion for music in their own creations, and with the amount of interesting musical factors present in any song off of Rearm Circuits, it makes for an authentic and beautiful release. The album reminds me much of older melodic and jazz influenced bands like I Am Ghost and Glassjaw, while Rubenstein’s voice reminds me at times of Forgive Durden— all of which are bands that I’ve always loved and have stuck out from the crowd due to their musical craftsmanship.

Ultimately, there are so many bands out there today doing the same thing– that’s not to say these bands aren’t good, let alone amazing, but it’s always refreshing to see someone doing things differently. Icarus The Owl has infused their own style within a much loved sound that has sadly fallen to the sidelines in 2017, and by doing so they show us how they live and breathe for what they do by making one of the most magnetic releases of 2017. I’d highly recommend, and urge you, to get the album when it’s released on 12/1– it’s absolutely spectacular; proving how true passion shines and that you can always turn your dark days into the most beautiful art.

You can check out the tracklist and Cali dates below, and preorders for the album are available on the band’s site.

Upcoming Dates:

12/2 – Anaheim, CA @ Chain Reaction
12/3 – Sacramento, CA @ Holy Diver

Rearm Circuits Tracklist
1. Failed Transmissions
2. Dream Shade
3. Ghosts of Former Lives
4. The Vanishing Point
5. Coma Dreams
6. DoubleSleep
7. Do Not Resuscitate
8. The Renaissance Of Killing Art
9. Hidalgo’s Secret Hideout
10. Burial Vows
11. Dimensions
12. Shadowboxing


Last modified: November 30, 2017