The band offer a brand of hard rock that's far more honest and organic than the contrived stuff you'll hear on traditional 'alternative rock' radio. Tracks like "Wondering" and the title track are slick numbers that don't lose any of their power, despite their refinement.
The band combines an Alice In Chains-esque verse with a deep groove chorus to create the marvelous rock Frankenstein "Vultures Overhead". Oddly, "No Closure" begins with a guitar riff reminiscent of Collective Soul of all people, before it explodes into a catchy chorus that erases all memory of that.
The album's standout is the fantastic blues rock number "Single Act of Lust". If there were any justice in the world, this would have been heard far and wide across the land.
There are some misses. The lacklustre "Magdolena" succeeds solely on the strength of Marc Bourgon's vocals. "What of Me" is a sluggish toss-off. "Senses" comes perilously close to the realm of power ballads.
I'm getting a little too old to be a hardcore hard rock fan, but Iconoclast makes me feel younger if just for an hour or so.
Iconoclast play the Arbor Room at Hart House in Toronto tonight.
Best tracks: "Single Act of Lust", "No Closure"
Track listing for Are We Dying:
- What of Me
- Vultures Overhead
- Single Act of Lust
- No Closure
- Are We Dying
- She Is Pain
- Hide the Knives
- Without You Naked
- Healing Sticks