Icicle Works came out with their debut album in 1984. I picked it up at a record store, on the recommendation of one of the store employees. It was absolutely what I was looking for at the time.
I just couldn’t get in most of the metal hair bands or synthesized pop and dance music that was being played on the radio in the ’80s. It’s not that I felt all of it was bad, I just felt too much of it offered very little in originality. So I started getting into a lot of alternative music at the time.
What first struck me about Icicle Works was the drum work. The opening song, “Whisper To A Scream”, had such awesome pedal work on the drums that I had to imagine the drummer being totally exhausted by the time the song was over. The rest of the musicianship was also extremely good and the songs themselves unique and memorable; the kind that would stick in your head well after the needle in left the groove.
But it’s the arrangement of the songs that really what pulls this album together. The keyboards set a great underlying atmosphere, accented perfectly by the bass. The guitars dip and sore along with little flourishes of percussion that accent them perfectly.
Listening to this album now, I can’t help but hear elements of U2, Echo And The Bunnymen, and The Cure as well as a few of my other favorite alternative bands – but not to the point of imitation. I’m really surprised I never picked up any other albums by Icicle Works. The next time I’m in the used record store, I’ll have to be sure to look for something else by them.