Ikons ‘Life Rhythm’ – album review

Ikons – Life Rhythm (Service)
CD / DL / LP
2 July 2012

Taking their influences from shoegazing and indie Swedish band Ikons deliver a soaring album of dreamlike pop. 

Gothenburg is a city that has a proud tradition of producing innovative music that challenges established norms. Ikons are a seven-piece band that certainly maintains this trend and their new album, ”˜Life Rhythm’ already looks like becoming yet another Swedish classic. Following up their acclaimed, self-titled 2010 debut which was described by NME as ”˜a step in the direction of future greatness’, ”˜Life Rhythm’ certainly takes further great strides down this road

Founding members Torbjorn Johansson and Jonas Bengtsson have been creating music together since school, but the continually evolving dynamics of the line-up has ensured an increasingly adventurous sound. Live performance is something that Ikons place great emphasis on and they earned rave reviews for their appearances in support of Spiritualized on their Scandinavian tour.

”˜Life Rhythm’ takes the listener on a dreamlike stroll through sublime guitars, soaring melodies and harmonic twists that you simply don’t see coming. There are hints of Ikons influences like Jesus and Mary Chain, Neu! and The Pastels, but this is undoubtedly a sonic adventure that is all their own.

Opening up with the haunting riffs of ”˜Just Gazin’, followed by ”˜Sister’ and ”˜Polaroid Cocaine’, the listener is left in no doubt that ”˜Life Rhythm’ is destined to be one of the finest releases this year. The ethereal quality of the vocal mix alongside top quality production ensures that once these tunes are inside your mind, they will stay there.

Torbjohn has recently spoken of the attraction of unpredictability in music and this is certainly true in tracks like ”˜Free Spirit’ and ”˜Azalea’. Ikons also make vivid use of vocal samples, often from the films of Harmony Korine, but still maintain a captivating, pure-pop essence. In contrast, ”˜Bye, Bye, Bye,’ and ”˜Disapproval’ are beautifully melodic offerings that could fit into any period of rock history albeit crafted with compelling twists.

You can watch the video for ”˜Sister’ which uses edited footage from Harmony Korine’s ”˜Mister Lonely’ here.

Ikons believe that music should offer a sense of transportation and the hypnotic vocals and irresistible hooks of ”˜Life Rhythm’ certainly do that.

All words by Dave Jennings. You can read more from Dave on LTW here.

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