Just when you thought the Icarus Line were on permanent holiday, they come raging back like a band of banshee motherfuckers. They’re not the searing, white-knuckle terrorists they were on 2004’s Penance Soiree, but they’re a nasty, scary rock band again. So God exists, after all. There’s some narcotic rock & roll brooding here, but it’s thick and serves as portentous, negative space from upcoming violence. And when that stabbing comes, it’s a harrowing dance between skin, bone and rusty blade. Between slashing tempests like “Laying Down for the Man,” “Rat’s Ass” and “City Job,” the sleaze and scum are smeared on nice and thick to make Slave Vows one of this year’s most surprising and welcome returns.
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