The Icicle Works – Blind (Expanded Edition)

Well, here we are with another in this lovely series of Icicle Works reissues. This is the last album with the original line-up – after this Ian McNabb pulled together a new band which produced one album, Permanent Damage before splitting. And after that came Ian’s solo career. After the moderate success of If You Want to Defeat Your Enemy Sing His Song, the obvious, sensible, commercial thing to do would be to make an album featuring more of the same, but that’s never been Ian McNabb’s way, so instead, we get this: the most stylistically diverse album the band made. Ranging from the Led Zeppelin-infused opening rock-out of Shit Creek to the lush balladry of Little Girl Lost and the glorious lunacy of Stood Before Saint Peter, this album has something to please everyone. And that was probably the problem. Given the diversity of the material, the Icies continued to suffer from being

too rock for radio, but not rock enough for the rock die-hards

as the booklet notes by Jerry Ewing has it.

So, quite apart from some great songs, and typically McNabb lyrics such as the opening to Here Comes Trouble:

Yesterday I woke up to a storm inside my room
Rain fell from my ceiling to a Robert Johnson tune…

there is of course much more in this three-disc expanded version. Some of the extra tracks will be familiar from the Best Kept Secrets compilation that came with the original best of CD, but as before, there are some rarer items.

There are some remixes of The Kiss Off, possibly the definitive version of one of my favourite Icies songs, When It All Comes Down, demos of some of the tracks on the main CD, some live tracks which include a cover of World Party’s Private Revolution, and the frankly barking (and I mean that quite literally this time) “Doggy Mix” of One True Love. No, not dodgy, doggy. With dogs barking all the way through it. Very silly indeed, but nice.

Good stuff, and generally available for not very much at all, so buy it, OK?