Label: Service Release date: Out Now! Website: Ikons on Myspace BUY it here Ikons' S/T album may as well have been named after single and opening track 'Slow Light’. That title fits the mood of the album perfectly and befits its quality. This is music to get tranquil and dream of glittering ephemera to, before plunging into a figurative blizzard of fuzzy post-rock ambient goodness. Eight minute long eponymous opener is one of the best tracks on an album that nevertheless manages to avoid peaking too early. The song is slow burning, transfixing; less aggressively tribal than Fuck Buttons, more melodic than Holy Fuck (what is it with that anyway?) almost reminiscent of early Bardo Pond by dint of the tantric synths. These are themes that continue throughout the record, which despite being almost stubbornly repetitive in parts, is cohesive. What the gothenburg boys are clearly striving towards is a psychedelic groove etched deep into your soul, along which can run a strong current of semi sci-fi lifts and more down to earth drops. ‘The Hawk’ for example, around album mid-point, resorts to a rumbling bass and two-note distorted guitar to both up the tempo and dial down the electronics. Unfortunately, it overcompensates a little, becoming monotonous as opposed to stripped-down; it’s not quite loud enough somehow to warrant the simplicity of the arrangement or its 5:38 minute length. Luckily, it’s an isolated weakness, and is redeemed by the remainder of the album, though the simplicity often remains. Again, this is not necessarily a criticism, but Ikons are not keen on subtlety; they thrive on strong psychedelic undercurrents, rumbling, trundling bass and drum lines. ‘Bye’, the track that would close the LP but for a three-minute re-hash of the opener, broaches Animal Collective territory with the loose production and whimsical, distorted vocals, and is all the better for it. Ikons is most definitely worth your time if you hanker yet for solid, occasionally pounding psychedelia from Sweden. This is a record that shies away from pretentiousness and sticks firmly to; and sometimes gets stuck in; a well-defined groove. Upon listening you won't experience an epiphany, but it may well dawn on you that you're seriously enjoying it anyway. Rating: 7/10

IKONS - SLOW LIGHT from Service on Vimeo.

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