Tuesday, January 16

Ice Cream Socialists

Our exploration of the southeast's sprawling music scene continues with a look at an emerging Athens-based indie pop band that has captured my attention. Ice Cream Socialists are a seven-member outfit that's been taking their local scene by storm but to my knowledge have not yet ventured beyond the Classic City. I haven't yet seen them live, but you can bet it's on my agenda.

Their album Belles & Missiles was released last fall and was selected by Flagpole as the #2 local release of the year. That's saying something when the locale involved is basically the nation's indie capital (Dark Meat's Universal Indians took top honors). Although their material is firmly rooted in pop, they venture between twee, indie rock, foot-stompin' jamboree-style country ("J. Michael Floyd"), and even a trippy classical interlude ("Waltz") rather effortlessly. The schizophrenic "Luv Dem Cannonballz" features both lovely violin playing and an unexpected "rap" segment. Hell, they evoke The Arcade Fire with the soaring climax of "Fuzz is a Friend." Few bands I've heard go from cute to menacing to epic and back again in the course of 10 tracks.

As you might guess given the size of the band, they expand upon the traditional guitar-bass-drums format by adding keys, accordian, and violin to the mix. In fact, the liner notes to B&M also list two drummers. Take that Mickey & Bill.

Enough dancing about architecture -- here are a couple of tracks from Belles & Missiles to check out:

Ice Cream Socialists - Day of the Danny
Ice Cream Socialists - Zagnut's Revenge

You can also download "Rapunzel" from the band's page at last.fm.

Belles & Missiles is available from the good people at CD Baby. To learn more and hear the demo of their track on a forthcoming Happy Happy Birthday to Me compilation ("Mr. Crazy"), visit their MySpace.


Blogger Matthew said...

These guys are nuts - it's like Belle & Sebastian being covered by the Muppets. They may be a bit too mental for me to go for in a big way, but I like them.

12:01 PM

Blogger Rich said...

I'd say they wander back and forth across the spectrum between Mates of State and Man Man. And I like them too. ;)

12:04 PM

Anonymous shaynexb said...

wow, these guys are awesome. i love the frenetic pace, and yes, the mental-ness. they remind me alot of the band Dufus, except a little more poppy and refined. i recommend Dufus to fans of ICS

6:01 PM

Blogger Mike said...

Thanks for the heads up. Really enjoying them.

6:24 PM


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