Female fronted and hailing from Decatur, IL, Icon For Hire is comprised of Ariel (vocals), Shawn Jump (guitar) and Adam Kronshagen (drums). Since 2007, the band has been establishing their strong following by touring extensively across the Mid-West.
Click here to add a video. Click to add lyrics if not listed.
#10 Album Of 2011| Posted December 26, 2011 Surprisingly, I didn't gravitate to much rock this year, but the debut from Decatur, IL'sIcon For Hireis one that appeared instantly on my radar out of nowhere. From the opening electronic "Overture" I knewScriptedwas going to go beyond my expectations from the latest female fronted rock act. The electronic sounds over hard guitar lines instantly reminded me to Skillet, Fireflight and RED. But it was the lyrics, specifically the sheer amount of them, that peaked my interest the most. There are so many words crammed into each line, each delivered beautiful from lead singer Ariel that I wondered how on earth it would translate to a live show. Surely the studio is removing moments of breath, but I'm happy to say the live show is just as engaging as the record, and that impressed me just as much as the quality of musicianship.
There are few misses on this 12-track album that just doesn't slow down for what is a disappointingly short 32 minutes (I wanted more!) and "Get Well," "Off With Her Head" and their huge first single, "Make A Move" are some of the best on the album. Lyrically, the band is all about acting and moving forward in our spiritual walk, encouraging non-complacency in our faith.
Building a distinctive sound from the ground up on a debut album is getting tougher and tougher to do, but Icon For Hire has done it and I can't wait to hear more!
An Epic Album Has Been Scripted| Posted August 22, 2011
Icon For Hire may be a new addition to the roster of promising bands hitting the airwaves recently, but don’t let their freshman status fool you. Hailing from Decatur, Ill., this heavy pop/rock trio is already making waves with their debut release Scripted from Tooth & Nail Records. Just like front woman Ariel’s hot-pink hair, this band brings an unexpected pop of color to the rock scene.
The album opens with a quick “Overture,” featuring strings and electronic elements creating an epic and cinematic sound. This kind of production is woven throughout the entire CD, giving a depth and energy to every song. The sound is sometimes reminiscent of what you would hear on a RED or Fireflight album, which in my opinion puts Icon For Hire in good company.
First track “Theatre,” jumps right into things by letting listeners know there’s no pretending here. Ariel sings, “My life is a musical, I know how to put on a pretty pathetic show.” As Christians, we tend to think we have to look like we have it all together, but life isn’t about pretending. The more we try to be something we’re not, the more we’ll end up losing the person God created us to be. Knowing this, Ariel screams out, “I wanna burn this theatre down…I wanna live like I lost my script!” By the time this first song is over, it’s already obvious this band is about action, not apathy.
Going directly into the band’s first single “Make A Move,” listeners hardly have time to catch their breath before being hit again with the same message. The lyrics “Everybody’s so scared, we don’t wanna go there, we don’t wanna make a move…screaming in the dark while we just play our part,” shed light on the fact that we like to blame others for the problems in this world, and as a result, never take action ourselves. We’re always waiting on someone else to “Make A Move.” This is why in the chorus Ariel begs, “Somebody make a move, we all know what’s going on.”
“Get Well” is an anthem for anyone wanting to put pain and brokenness in the past. Ariel confesses, “We’re not happy until everyone knows we’re sick…I meant it when I said I want to get well.” The sad thing about human nature is that we’re sometimes willing to stay where we are just because it’s easier, even if that means never having the freedom Jesus died for us to have. This song reminds us that “we don’t have to live like this,” because God has much more for us. He wants to make us well.
Every great rock album needs a ballad to show the band’s ability to be diverse. “The Grey” and “Only A Memory” serve this purpose well. “The Grey” starts off with just piano and vocals, then slowly builds adding strings, guitars and percussion. We all have and will do things that cause us to question our relationship with God. These can be very dark and lonely times, making us feel confused and unsure of where we stand. Ariel questions, “How cold have I become, I didn’t want to lose you by what I’ve done, caught in the grey,” but God sings back, “In your deepest pain, in your weakest hour, in your darkest night, you are lovely,” providing the reassurance that we are His child, no matter what we go through. The first and last words of the song are the same – “I am standing on the edge of returning or just running away.” During these dark times we have a choice of who we run to, but God never leaves us.
The second ballad, “Only A Memory” seems to be about a past broken relationship that left a great deal of pain, but in the end Ariel is able to say, “You’re only a memory, this isn’t my identity,” making the distinction that life has its struggles, but they should not define us.
“Fight” and “Iodine”, as well as earlier track “Get Well” all touch on the subject of not staying complacent in our sin, but moving forward. Lyrics like “I don’t know how I got here, but I refuse to stay,” reiterate the fact that we want to get better, but our human nature has other plans. Ariel sings, “These conditions only cure when we prepare ourselves for war,” reminding us there’s a battle going on inside us and our sin won’t be destroyed without a fight. The lyrics “depression’s like a big fur coat, it’s made of dead things, but it keeps me warm,” are a perfect picture of the constant battle going on inside each one of us.
Final song on the album, “Pieces,” once again tells listeners that we have to do something about the struggles in our lives. Yes, God is big and can do great things through us, but we have a part to play as well. “The pieces won’t pick-up themselves ya know.”
Since Icon For Hire’s first single “Make A Move,” hit radio stations, I’ve been looking forward to hearing what else this trio has up their sleeves. I am happy to say Scripted does not disappoint. Not only does it have an explosive sound, but the lyrics are equally impactful, calling listeners to stop living lives of complacency. And this band doesn’t just sing about taking action, they encourage fans to join them in working with various social causes. I have to admit I’m not usually a big fan of girl fronted rock bands, but Ariel’s vocals are unique, passionate, and perfect for this record. Paramore fans will love this band and I’m definitely looking forward to seeing them in the live setting. It appears Icon For Hire has the whole package and I can’t wait to see what the future brings… possibly a “New Artist of the Year” nomination? I think so.
Outstanding Album| Posted August 19, 2013
Scripted is Icon For Hires first full length and it did not disappoint. The album has a unique pop/rock sound. There are a very few albums i can listen to straight through and this is one of them. Stand out tracks are Off With Her Head and Only A Memory.
Best album has been Scripted| Posted January 05, 2013
Icon for hire's debut left their fans waiting with excitement for their second album. Their mix of rock with of electronic is an excellent blend. Icon for hire's music is unigue and they are definitely a one of a kind rock band.
5/5| Posted November 28, 2011
Icon for Hire's debut album, Scripted, leaves a remarkable impression after it stops playing. This is a strong album that contains heavy rock music, lyrics that encourage, and an almost unique sound. It's kind of a mash up of Evanescane and early Linkin Park which is quite interesting given that band's who try to add synths to their sound rely heavily upon them. Icon for Hire succeeds at this because of the catchiness behind the songs. Adding synths is only the icing on the cake. If you like awesome things, give this album a listen. It's already become the highest selling debut album put out by Tooth and Nail Records in their history. The album shows us why.
Icon For Hire! Rock On!| Posted September 13, 2011
I loved listening to this album! I first heard of IFH at Creation Fest 2011 NE, and have loved them ever since! They bring a new sound, with the same rock, head-banging sound that is loved by all rock fans!
The album starts off with an amazing overture and first song. Theatre is all about masks and not wanting to fit in and conform; to no longer act on the stage of life, but to stand out and burn the theatre down; to be real, so to speak. That theme runs thorough the whole project, in one sense or another.
The Grey is also a very good song,. I especially love the bridge: You tell me / in your deepest pain / in your weakest hour / in your darkest night / you are lovely." This speaks of the vioce of God speaking to His kids, that no matter where we are, that Jesus still sees us as lovely and beautiful, because He made us that way.
The record has some good rock'n songs, like Make a Move, and Off With Her Head, as well as some more sad/vulnerable songs, like Only A Memory and Pieces.
The whole album has a lot of emotion and speaks of real feelings and situaitons, that, I feel, a lot of people can relate to. I highly recommend Icon For Hire's new project: Scrpited! Rock On!
Smmmmmmoooookin| Posted September 02, 2011
Incredible Album! Love it. We will definately be playing you on the station! Love to interview you and have you on sometime! It is wonderful when you play an album and EVERY Song just draws you in.
Changing The Script One Album At A Time| Posted August 23, 2011
Tooth & Nail Records "other female-fronted band" have just released their debut album, "Scripted". A mixture of punk rock, synth pop and great lyrics are the result. Let's get to the review!
"Scripted" throws open the curtains with a suspenseful intro to "Theatre", a heavy-hitting song about living life beyond the script. Ariel's punk vocals hit you in the face with urgency, the music is great, and the lyrics really pack a meaning. "Make A Move" is the single from "Scripted" and urges us not to compromise. "Make A Move" is more in the style of their EP's, carrying that same raw sound as songs like "Fall Apart" and "Call Me Alive". "Make A Move" is one of the best tracks off "Scripted".
When I first heard "Get Well", I was really surprised as Icon For Hire never did any synth pop on their EPs. However, it was a nice surprise, and I really like the "new" sound. The lyrical theme is very different than a listener normally hears, with lyrics such as "And being lonely’s only fun in a group/It sort of loses its charm when it’s true” but the lyrics of "Get Well" are a message that needs to be heard. "The Grey" follows, and is one of the three older songs Icon For Hire chose to re-do. This version is beautiful and doesn't differ much from the EP version. Ariel's vocals are more polished here, and there are minor lyrical differences. Another standout track.
"Off With Her Head" follows, and I have to say, while the "Scripted" version is awesome, I like the EP version better. The EP version had more of a raw punk feel while the cd version sounds very polished with a bit of pop influence. It all depends on your tastes! "Off With Her Head" is one of my favorite Icon For Hire songs lyrically, with Ariel pleading to God, "Don't let go I don't wanna be this, I don't wanna be this, death is mine I know, Don't let go, don't let go, Savior!"
"Fight" can be considered an anthem for all of those who have gone through their lives and taken a lot of pain. "Fight" brings crunching guitars that blend with Ariel's beautiful vocals, the unique bridge is definitely "ear-catching" and this song is sure to be a fan favorite. "Up In Flames" doesn't bring anything new to the musical table, however it's a very good track with empowering lyrics. "Iodine" is another standout track about how we know what we need to do to recover, but keep "temporarily" fixing things. "I don't like pain but I bring it to life, I don't like scars but I'm good with a knife, I don't like tears but I'm starting to cry when I realize I'm destroying my life." "Iodine" really brings the energy as well as the message.
"Only A Memory" (Known as "Pernilla" to we older fans) is my personal favorite Icon For Hire song. That being said, I like the slight musical changes they made to this song, as well as how great Ariel sounds singing. But what I really miss in the "Scripted" version is the screaming. The screaming of "I won"t bend, I won't break, I will, not, BREAK!" made the EP version absolutely perfect. I know Icon For Hire doesn't have a screamer anymore, but I wish they would've had one of the many Tooth & Nail screamo bands guest. "Only A Memory" is still an amazing track, and Ariel did do a great job replacing the screams with her vocals. The lyrics to "Only A Memory" really pack a punch, and many fans will relate to this song.
"Pieces" closes out the album, and I'm glad Icon For Hire chose to end the song on an energetic note instead of a ballad. Ariel dishes out some tough love on "Pieces" and straight up tells us to pick up the pieces and get our lives right with God. This was a great song choice to leave the listener with.
Over the past few years, Icon For Hire's musical style has developed from punk/rock/screamo to a blend of punk/rock/synth pop. Icon For Hire has a great sound with lyrics a lot better than their secular counterparts. While their slight style change has them borrowing a lot from bands like Paramore, Evanescence, and Flyleaf, Icon For Hire still puts their own unique stamp on each song. They may not change the script entirely, but they're well on their way to re-writing it.