A horrible hack

Iron Chic

The Constant One

Year Released: 2013
Format: LP
Label: bridge nine
Reviewed by Andrew Revis on Dec 16, 2013
Remember that time that little-known band from Long Island called Iron Chic put their debut album 'Not Like This' on Bandcamp to download for free, and remember how it turned out to be probably the best album of 2010 with such bangers as Time Keeps On Slipping Into The (Cosmic) Future, I Always Never Said That and Black Friday? Me too.

Well now they're back with a second album, 'The Constant One', and when I say they haven't changed much it's absolutely intended as a compliment. They're still not particularly big and not particularly clever, but this album really is a lot of fun. They've delivered precisely the record fans were hoping for - poppy exuberance, hooks galore, massive choruses.

It might not hit quite as instantly as 'Not Like This' but it's more cohesive and more consistent - give this one some time and all will be revealed, it's just a bit of a slow-burner. It still fizzes along all bouncy and sparky, but they now seem to possess that most intangible of things so savoured by bands and critics alike: maturity. Maybe it's just the album's first line that caught my ear: 'It's all a matter of entropy...' See, they're getting science-y now - if that's not maturity I don't know what is! Consider that in contrast to the opener of the first album: 'I wanna smash my face into the god-damn radio...' Don't panic though, they still utilise the f-word to fill spare syllables all the time, as much even as pop singers do in every other line with 'baby'. And that's fucking tremendous.

Non-believers may understandably note that each of the eleven songs sounds the same, a fair observation to make and indeed a tricky one to disprove. But there's more variety, more wit, more to glean from those deceptively brutal lyrics of existential longing and personal regret than you may at first realise. Take track eight, A Serious House On Serious Earth. It's a punk rock concerto, a little peach, a tune repeat buttons were invented for, a track beyond anything the band has ever even hinted at on previous albums, eps and splits, beyond also what so many of this band's peers seem capable of.

In short, this album is ace. It is as good a record, if not better, than anything ever released by The Menzingers or Banner Pilot or even The Bouncing Souls, and praise rarely comes much higher than that. Well done, men!

Recommended record by Collective Zine!

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