I have just been invited to review this latest release from Brighton based hard rockers Icca’s Belle and after just a couple of listens I have to say I am very impressed with what they have achieved. The four piece consisting of vocalist Edward Harden, guitarist Jimi Huntington, Peter Barton on bass and the superbly named Red Dragone on drums fuse together instrumentation that results in a classic 70s heavy rock feel infused with the dense dark vibe of the Seattle sound. It is very contemporary, very honest and very relevant.
[pullquote_left]Best listened to in the pitch dark, eyes closed just letting the vibe envelop you. Punchy, belligerent and brutal in its starkness[/pullquote_left]
‘Long Way Home’ kicks in on a giant slab of trench deep grooves and jagged, hard Huntington riffing provides the platform for Harden to jump in with an immediate brooding and aggressive vocal. The riff throbs away urging Harden to dig deeper for the vocal before it slips into a deep echoed solo underpinned by metronomic drum and bass patterns from Barton and Dragone. Best listened to in the pitch dark, eyes closed just letting the vibe envelop you. Punchy, belligerent and brutal in its starkness.
The opening sweep of ‘Silver and Gold’ is the very antithesis of its predecessor and hints very strongly that Icca’s Belle are no one trick pony and have many weapons in their arsenal. The timing changes are numerous, varied and mightily impressive resulting in a truly epic sound that pours out over a full six minutes. The opening flourish is sublime, deft single note finger picking that ushers in an immediately hurting Harden vocal that gradually rises in pitch signalling the first sortie into grinding grooves and a slashing riff. Then back into the melody as Harden lays out the lyric of pain and loss. A feel that is matched by the stealth like sounds Huntington emits from his guitar, more jagged riffs leading into a ferocious incendiary solo that just builds and builds in depth, complexity, volume and pace, dragging along the pulsing rhythm section and enabling Harden to cry out the crescendo of the lyric. Sprawling, atmospheric and deeply haunting, all I could do when the last notes died away was press play and reach out for some more ‘Silver and Gold’.
Confined to the studio, Icca’s Belle summon up some pretty extraordinary power and emotion, I can only begin to imagine what a proposition they must be live. An experience I want to have sooner rather than later!
Icca’s Belle must be taken seriously and I look forward to tracking their development with great interest. They are an exciting band. Who said rock is dead? Just start listening to bands like Icca’s Belle and you will hear that it is alive and screaming to be heard!