The Icarus Line – Wildlife
A solo album in all but name (its working title was Joe Cardamone Versus The Icarus Line), Wildlife is a sporadically impressive outing that nevertheless falls short of the high standard set by the band’s previous work.
Bookended by its two strongest tracks (King Baby is a perfect slice of ritual groove music, whilst the album’s title track recalls the Dandy Warhols at their louche, loveable best), the main problem is that most of these tracks sound like demos, and even the more fully-formed songs – the pulse-quickeningly tongue-in-cheek maximalism of Tina Turner or the glammy bombast of All the Little Things, for example – never manage to transcend their classic rock influences.
Cardamone’s stubborn resolve to live out the rock and roll cliché to the bitter end has never been in doubt, but he’ll need more focus and a real band behind him before he can deliver another great album. [Mark Shukla]