Album Review: Irrational Man EP by Noticing Icarus

by Callahan Jones

The local Cedarville-based band, Noticing Icarus, recently released their debut EP, “Irrational Man EP”, a project that is surprisingly well put together for a first offering.

[Irrational Man EP cover art by Brian McCray]

The band is made up of all former or graduated Cedarville University students, including David Grandouiller (vocals, rhythm guitar), Brandon Apol (lead and rhythm guitar), Calvin Hitchcock (keys, organ), Connor Smith (electric bass, upright bass), and Geraldt Stewart (drums).

The five men combine to make a unique brand of alternative rock that allows each member of the band to shine in their own ways across the EP’s six tracks.

“Irrational Man” opens with the light and poppy “Landscape with the Fall of the Artist as a Young Man,” which features a lively bass line and catchy piano and guitar riffs. Stewart’s simple drumming keeps the song moving along as Grandouiller’s unique and warbling vocals float above the track.

Up next is “Doomwaltz,” a beautiful, piano-driven affair in 3/4 time that puts the focus solely on the haunting vocals, before slowly transitioning into an equally haunting full-band instrumental.

“I Can’t Get Out of My Head” follows, featuring sliding guitar, repetitive piano, and a vocal line about a man’s slow descent into madness. This track also manages to give off distinct Radiohead vibes.

The tracks “Step Over” and “Jonah” both follow similar patterns of songwriting in starting off slower and more simplistic in style, before eventually swelling into beautiful instrumentals by the end. Where “Step Over” features pounding drums and a sweeping piano riff, “Jonah” opts for strings spread throughout the song to create the mood.

The EP ends on the standout song, “Need to Fall.” It’s instantly catchy, with guitar, bass, and vocal riffs that will be stuck in your head for days. It goes out on emotional synths—the perfect end to what is an excellent and exciting first project.

For those who have seen Noticing Icarus perform in the Cedarville area in the last year and a half, the musical quality present on the album is no surprise. The instrumentals are especially impressive, with each musician coming forth with interesting ideas. Grandouiller’s voice and lyrics add an interesting perspective and dynamic to every track. Even the track placement on the EP is meaningful and thought out.

Overall, “Irrational Man EP” is a fantastic effort from a great local band. Look forward to the full album release, tentatively slated for the spring.

Callahan Jones is a junior journalism major and the Digital and Design editor for Cedars. In his free time, he enjoys making coffee, collecting headphones and playing games with friends.

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