Walls of sound combine with gut-wrenching melodies and frank, insightful lyrics that make you question yourself, others, the government and the world around you. From the bowels of New York's Lower East Side, get ready for I.C.U. and the musical heresy of their latest release, Mad Truth.
After half a year of recording, NYC's original Intensive Care Unit emerges with a brave new album produced by Wharton Tiers, who has captured the intensity of other NYC notables such as Sonic Youth, White Zombie and Helmet. Producer Tiers has taken the voice and guitar of I.C.U. leader and tank girl personification, Pee Wee, and turned up the power on this mighty new CD. From the poppy edge of "Jump", to the cataclysmic guitar wail of "Once Free", I.C.U. run the gamut of aggro-pop intensity.
Mad Truth features original cover art by X-Files comic book fame/Marvel artist Miran Kim.
The band's debut album, Defy, produced by Thom Panunzio (Iggy Pop, Reverend Horton Heat, Black Sabbath, etc) registered as the #9 Most Added Record in Gavin Rocks, and was in steady rotation in CMJ for over six months. The band's second release O No No O Zone, produced by Don Fury (CIV, Quicksand, Orange 9mm, etc.) was #5 Most Added from Gavin Rocks radio reporters and the album registered ahead of KISS on CMJ's Loud Rock Add Chart.
I.C.U. has shared the stage with Everclear, Orange 9mm, The Donnas, Unsane, played several dates on Lollapalooza '96, and were chosen to represent JBL Speakers in a national ad campaign, live from CBGB's ("JBL keeps America moshing"). The campaign was aired on major market commercial radio country-wide. A corresponding video version aired on MTV, E!, VH-1, ESPN and TBS.
In 2006, I.C.U. saw a new incarnation when Pee Wee teamed up with Memphis Mike, ex-drummer of the hardcore band Man With Gun. You might have spotted them in Texas for the South by Southwest indie music fest or any number of times around NY's Lower East Side. I.C.U. also opened up for th infamous Avengers at CBGBs weeks before clubs doors were locked forever. Maintaining her status as one of NY's biggest supporters of local punk rock, Pee Wee continues to befriend up-and-coming bands from the area as well as inviting them to play at her recently opened Brooklyn record shop Pass Out Records. Chances are if you're in Williamsburg on any given Saturday, you can hear Mike's thumping bass drum and Pee Wee's thrashing riffs and screeching vocals let loose on Grand St.
Lead singer Perry Masco, a.k.a. Pee Wee forms the core of Lower East Side doomsday prophets I.C.U. Her rage and pain-filled vocals have been featured since the band's first release for Radical Records in 1993, Defy. That album also featured the work of bassist Eunice Holland, guitarist Marc Laramee and drummer Danny Sykes, making an album that wailed with psychic anguish over humming bass. The group's second album, O No No O Zone, released in 1995, developed that style with an almost completely new lineup. Holland, Laramee and Sykes were replaced by Zoran Bulatovic on bass, Chris Christos on guitar and Sinisa Lucic on drums. The band gained exposure outside of New York for that album when they played the midwestern leg of the Loolapalooza in 1996. For 1999's efforts on Radical, the band's lineup changed again and some powerful figures were brought in to produce their deepest work yet. I.C.U. would have two releases in 1999, a song on the compilation, Punk's Not Dead: a Tribute to the Exploited, and another full-length album, Mad Truth, produced by Wharton Tiers (who had worked previously with Sonic Youth , Helmet and Quicksand) and featuring a new rhythm section: Amanda Topaz on bass and Duard Kleyn on drums.
In the summer of 2006 punk was kicked to the curb by Manhattan and moved to Brooklyn. In that summer we lost the Continental and even the beyond legendary CBGBs and not much can ever replace them. We can only look for the Rock n'Roll spirit where we can and the Passout Record Shop on Grand St. in Williamsburg definately helps us remember the good ol' days. Pee Wee of I.C.U. and her new collaborator Memphis Mike started working together in the studio as well as in the music business when they opened the record store which now holds a vast treasure of garage, punk, rock n roll, hardcore and soul, mostly rare vinyl presses alongside a generous amount of Radical Records releases!
Supporting the local scene, every Saturday is an instore performace usually featuring I.C.U. with NYC bands like Wellington Ladies Welfare League, Big Fun, the Little Killers, Ghetto Ways, and the DC Snipers as well as touring bands like the Four Slicks, the Cuts, the Leather Uppers and Cheveaux all the way from France. If your in the area stop by and see the beginning of a new legend... it's ok if you Pass Out!