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Iconic Eye: Into The Light

From being Hidden In Plain Sight with their debut to now heading Into The Light with album number two, the journey for UK melodic rockers Iconic Eye has been a convoluted one. Working their way through a couple of male lead singers most notably ex-Shy man Lee Small the band announced the bold step of turning to Jane Gould's (under the name of Jane Gillard initially) vocal talents with an EP release earlier this year. Reworking five cuts from their debut, the rise in class (no reflection on the ever awesome Mr. Small I may add) that the good lady Gould injected was nothing short of mind boggling, a set of songs that had verged on workmanlike now iconically eye catching. For their first full album with Gould those same five tracks appear again, and while, obviously, they're still quite superb, it's hard to escape the feeling that even when Iconic Eye are pushing ever forward, they are still somehow treading water.

With the band line-up now also containing ex-Dante Fox and Max Bacon bassist Michael Dagnall, drummer Adrian Scattergood and guitarist Robin Mitchard, alongside mainstay guitarist Greg Dean, there's little doubt that Iconic Eye have the talent to make a mark. It's something that those often presented songs show in abundance, "You Make It", with its surging keyboards and biting riff complimented beautifully by Gould's full, rich vocal delivery. While "Let It Rain Down" adds a more mature, grand edge, twin guitars blazing on a solo that counterpoints an amazingly balanced track to perfection. With "Better Place" adding a tougher bluesy push and shove and "All She Needed" the sort of thing that Robin Beck or Alannah Myles would have hit the top of the charts with back in the 80s, the class is plain to see.

The litmus test however is whether the six new tracks written by Dean, Gould and in places Mitchard, can live up to these lofty heights. Opener "Am I The One" tries its best, busy and bustling, muscular and meaty as a hard hitting beat knocks down the door, but instead of grabbing you by the throat, things never really get to grips, as the song's early promise slips away somewhat. "Those Tears Won't Last" redresses the balance but even here the undoubted energy and belief aren't quite matched by a run of the mill chorus. The strange thing is that all of the new songs come into being through interesting and involving intros, but when things settle down into verse-chorus-verse, the early attention grabbing slips away; "Thanks For The Memories" and "Don't Stop Me Leaving" also suffering the same fate. Closing cut "Get Through The Night" throws off these curious shackles and delivers on its promise with an urgency that isn't always apparent in the other new songs and giving a glorious example of what this band are capable of as it does so.

Maybe my expectations were set too high by the scintillating Time EP, but as an album, Into The Light just never makes the same impact that shorter burst of older songs certainly did. Hopefully Iconic Eye can build on what is, in many ways, a promising second 'debut' effort. There's no doubt they have the talent and can write some seriously sexy sounds but what's lacking here is consistency. Maybe the opportunity to start a new album from scratch without any baggage from their past will negate these little niggles next time out. Don't get me wrong, Into The Light is still a good album, it's just not as knock you sideways good as I was hoping for.

Track Listing
1. Am I the One
2. You Make It
3. Those Tears Won't Last
4. Let it Rain Down
5. Black Country Lady
6. Better Place
7. Black Heart
8. All She Needed
9. Thanks for the Memories
10. Don't Stop me from Leaving
11. Never Get Through the Night

Added: October 29th 2017
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Iconic Eye online
Hits: 750
Language: english

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