The Icarus Line in Loose Lips Sink Ships


“God, they were so pissed… I’ve never seen so many fucking middle-aged white dudes lose their minds like that, like someone had come up and spit in their mother’s face. Like, middle fingers, the entire time. Spitting at me, throwing food, everything in the fucking house. It was like a rain of trash. We get offstage and some guy gets in my face and starts laying into me, like, tall, drunk and pissed, and his wife’s right next to him, like, ‘Fuck you, you faggot!’ And I look down, and he’s got a police badge on. He’s an off-duty cop. Then more of them start piling up. Next thing you know there’s like fifteen or twenty drunk, psychotic white people who like smell like fucking rotten gumbo, screaming at me in the House Of Blues parking lot. I hadn’t been that scared in a while, to be honest. Like, I’m gonna get lynched at the House Of Blues. How perfect.”

Late last year, Steve Gullick and I met up once again with Joe Cardamone, frontman of The Icarus Line, probably the greatest group we covered during the lifespan of our Zine, Loose Lips Sink Ships. As Loose Lips is once again a going concern, and as The Icarus Line recently cut the most potent, snarling, electrifying album of their career, Slave Vows, there was no way we were going to ditch the chance to tell the story of Cardamone’s remarkable, cockroach-like survival through a shit-rain of drugs, violence, insanity, burnout, poverty and despair, to come out the other side stronger, saner and as spitefully brilliant as ever.

This is that story.


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Ten for 2013

So, 2013. Some amazing music was made, and heard. Here’s ten of the best, below. See you in 2014.

10. Dobie, We Will Not Harm You

9. Thee Oh Sees, Floating Coffin

8. QOTSA, Like Clockwork

7. Goodie Mob, Age Against The Machine

6. Factory Floor, Factory Floor

5. The Stepkids, Troubadour

4. Mikal Cronin, II

3. Deerhunter, Monomania

2. Bosnian Rainbows, Bosnian Rainbows

1. The Icarus Line, Slave Vows

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White Fence in Loose Lips Sink Ships

Tim Presley - White Fence - May 2013

Read my feature on Los Angeles psych-garage visionary Tim Presley and his White Fence project in Loose Lips Sink Ships, with excellent photos from Steve Gullick.

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Mary J Blige in the new MOJO

My Mary J Blige feature can be found in the latest issue of MOJO, on sale now. If you want to read the inarguable queen of street soul discuss hair metal, christmas and the concept of music as salvation from emotional turmoil, get thyself to a newsagent pronto.

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Mikal Cronin in Loose Lips Sink Ships


Continuing the soft-open of the “seventh issue” of the reanimated Loose Lips Sink Ships, genius photographer Steve Gullick and myself are very proud to announce the publication of our latest feature, a profile of elfin guitar pop wunderkind Mikal Cronin. Mikal has released two solo albums to date, and both are precious, wonderful things you should definitely listen to.

You can find the feature here.

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Bosnian Rainbows


“I just want to leave a little mark on the world with my emotions. Yeah. No bullshit. I just wanna bare everything! Because we’re gonna die soon! Someday. You might as well bare everything, and leave your little mark there. Like a star. Oh, I feel like a hippy…”
– Teri Gender-Bender

The latest feature in the rejuvenated, reanimated, resuscitated Loose Lips Sink Ships – Bosnian Rainbows. Omar Rodriguez Lopez’ post-Mars Volta outfit – fronted by Le Butcherettes’ incandescent Teri Gender-Bender, and featuring paradigm -shifting drummer Deantoni Parks and suave synth bod Nicci Kasper – released one of the finest albums of the year, in the form of their self-titled debut album, which also contained my favourite song of 2013, Turtle Neck. Read their story, in-depth (very much in-depth), at the link above.

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Goodie Mob in MOJO, Nirvana in Kerrang!

In the dog days of this Summer, I had the marvellous fortune to travel to Lisbon and enjoy a weekend in the blazing sun with genius photographer and all-round lovely bloke Andy Cotterill. Somewhere in-between sunning ourselves by the pool in one of the city’s most luxurious hotels and hurtling down the motorway at nosebleed velocity with our loyal but bonkers cab-driver, we interviewed the reformed, resplendent Goodie Mob, whose new album, Age Against The Machine, is one of the year’s best. You can read up on all our adventures in the latest issue of MOJO, which also includes excellent features on Paul McCartney, Queen’s Roger Taylor and Earl Sweatshirt. Buy it, it’s the world’s greatest music magazine.

Also this week, Kerrang! run my feature on the making of Nirvana’s In Utero, for which I interviewed surviving members Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear, along with sleeve designer Robert Fisher. It’s a story involving Steve Albini, Seahorses and the burning down of the Republican Party HQ in LA, so get the latest issue if you want to read it. Just don’t blame me for the final sentence of the feature, which I did not write.

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