The ‘Rock ‘N Roll Thugs’ – Icon For Hire

Piercing green eyes surrounded by splashes of bright blue, pink, purple and black are framed with almost grotesquely thick eyelashes centre the cover of Icon for Hire’s latest album. The leading singer’s face Ariel Bloomer is painted somewhat garishly but still appears quite attractive.

The Illinois-formed band’s second album was released last year in October by the recording company Tooth & Nail. Shawn Jump, Adam Kronshagen and Josh Kincheloe are the other members and play electric guitar, drums and bass guitar respectively.

Besides the pulsating beat behind the words, Icon for Hire’s specialty lie in their evocative and compelling lyrics. The edgy energy exuded from Icon For Hire’s latest album not only has you head-banging in your bedroom, but their catchy, emphatic lyrics, “we’re a copy of a copy, everything we swore we’d not be” (Cynics & Critics) convey quite a few pertinent messages for their listeners too.

This is not your usual run-of-the-mill rock ‘n roll with the female lead screeching ‘sexily’ into the mike about how much she wants to “put another dime in the Jukebox, baby” (Joan Jett & the Blackhearts). Instead audiences are subjected to lyrics that condemn and scorn certain societal norms and explore subjects that may be considered taboo.

Quite a few of the Icon For Hire’s songs reconnoitre depression and its many facets, “Wear my scars on my sleeve, for all the world to see/Like look what they did to me quick, lay on the sympathy thick” (Sorry About Your Parents).

The music itself cannot be simply limited to the genre of rock, there are elements of electronic, metal, Alternative, punk and even rap present as well even though Ariel has stated that it is “first and foremost just a rock band”.

The entire album is quite refreshing and the two more relaxed songs, “Slow Down” and “Fix Me” provide a soothing contrast the higher tempo of the other songs. It is difficult to determine the best song because quite frankly, they are all equally good.

With regards to live performance, Ariel is most definitely the star of the show. Her flamingo-pink hair, black, fingerless gloves, leather boots and ripped stockings immediately draws people’s attention. This image coupled with her strong, passionate vocals leaves audiences in awe.

The band is currently on tour and are set to perform thirteen concerts including the upcoming ones in Springfield (Illinois), Houston (Texas), Oslo (Norway) and Gothenberg (Sweden).

So, if you’re looking for something that packs the punch of the beat, lyrics and voice, Icon For Hire is definitely a worthwhile choice.

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