Many people can have the talent and dedication to make it as a professional musician but the one thing we all battle against stands as a foe: life. Sometimes duties and responsibilities have a louder call than our aspirational desires but that doesn’t mean we should give up on our dreams. Javier Lardizábal has followed in the footsteps of Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson, not only in genre style but by balancing his rock star life with that of an airline pilot. Javier has flown the skies and after nearly ten years has finally reached cloud nine in the form of releasing his band’s album Stains & Echoes.
Listen to the lead track, ‘Nightclub Sundays’ here: https://open.spotify.com/artist/7hXr34FFuQykjrjKNQt9ix
Javier continued to write and develop the tracks on Stains & Echoes during his time as an airline pilot, finally bringing the album to completion when he found Dave Ramos (drums) and Wens Castellanos Garcia (keyboards). The band are based in Mexico City but have plans to take over the world with their alternative indie sound, a feat that should be easy with Javier’s musical talent and pilot training! Javier, himself, provides the guitar and Layne Staley vocals. The bass heavy sound and Javier’s swirling singing give Stains & Echoes a distinct 90s sound with a musical magic that could belong on the Charmed soundtrack. However, the album fits perfectly into the modern world with snippets of trip-hop being mixed into tracks like ‘Nightclub Sundays.’
‘Nightclub Sundays’ begins with a thrumming bass similar to that of classic Red Hot Chili Peppers songs before slinking into a keyboard/guitar tune that brings it more into the modern day. Javier’s soaring vocals echo throughout the whole track with the same resonating sound of Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam and Shaun Morgan from Seether. The elongation and vocal straining evoke a sound similar, also, to the late Chester Bennington, being fuelled with the same raw emotion and passion.
Other tracks such as ‘A Means to Say Goodbye’ head more towards a Shinedown sound whilst still providing that wash of atmospheric keyboard that make the tracks otherworldly. Whilst ‘The Messenger’ is a blazing instrumental track that adds a lighter layer to the otherwise punk attack album. The almost primal drum beats of ‘The Messenger’ really showcase the band’s talent as musicians by making that musical connection to an audience without any lyrics being needed. Whilst the guitar and keyboard solo’s evoke a distorted and chaotic sound similar to Muse.
Ikkarus are soaring high but show no signs of burning up any time soon beyond the fire this album will no doubt create for them, burning bright throughout music history.
Review by Skye W. Winwood