Icon for Hire: You Can’t Kill Us

Warning: If you cannot abide PG-13 language, this is not the album for you. Now graduated from Tooth & Nail to indie status and stripped from a trio down to the duo of Ariel Bloomer (vocals, keyboard) and Shawn Jump (everything else), the third outing for the Icons dives headfirst into the nightmares of adolescent girls, facing topics like suicidality and self-mutilation head-on with an “I’ve been there; let me show you the way out” vulnerability, honest about weakness without wallowing in it. The intensity of the lyrics match the music; blunt honesty aside, “Under the Knife” pulls out both the “d word” and the “s word,” though that’s an exception to the rest of the album. But good intentions don’t count for much without good result; on that score, these songs have hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube, and the comments sections are full of testimonies from people who have already been helped. While Bloomer ventures vocally further into rap/rock than on previous releases, the band’s basic “heavy rock, heavy synth” sound, part Pink, part Halestorm, remains much the same. This may not be an album that you want or need to hear, but you probably know someone who does.

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