So what to make of Fleet Foxes, whose recent Helplessness Blues (SubPop) is getting raves all over. Perhaps my children can explain the appeal of Fleet Foxes to me. They
sound a bit like a modern Crosby & Nash but with less personality, and I haven't been able to listen to the disc all the way through--two tries so far. Surely, Northwest dreams aren't made of this.
Thankfully, the Icons (Tom Dyer, Steve Trettevik and friends), who have been around for some 25 years, have returned with Appointment With Destiny! (Green Monkey Records), a rip-roaring, trashy and fun garage rock record that at least approaches the
enviable sound of 1960s Northwest classic bands such as the Wailers and the Sonics--and a few of my lifelong fave Detroit artists, too. (These Icons are not to be confused with the band of the same name that filmmaker James Gunn led; their album was titled Mom,We Like It Here On Earth. The music site www.allmusic.com incorrectly lists both albums together.)
With the recent passing of Wailers keyboardist-singer Kent Morrill, I'm treasuring Northwest rock'n'roll more than ever, and although the Icons are a bit silly and lack the sense of breakthrough that characterized the Wailers and Sonics, they're worth the effort. If you dig "Fool Me Once" or "Dancin' In the Jailhouse" as much as I do, repeat after me: I don't wanna grow up! I don't wanna grow up!
The best review of the Icons' Appointment With Destiny! is really the one from their label, Green Monkey, that appeared on the CD Baby website: "An irreverent pile of noisy guitar songs filled with brain-sucking hooks of the Pacific Northwest--as raw as the Clash, as stupid as the New York Dolls and as intellectually stimulating as Lou Reed on a really bad day."