In May '98, former members of several well-known Boston-area bands decided to channel their creative energy together to form a new and exciting hybrid form of aggressive music. Hence, the birth of what would eventually evolve into Ichabod.
While soliciting musicians for this new project, guitarist Dave Iverson (ex-Bitter, Worldseed) was particularly meticulous about choosing a drummer. For this reason he contacted percussionist exraordinaire Ron Dion (ex-Psychosis). Dion's enthusiastic response prompted the two to enlist bassist Ken Joyner (ex-Brown, No Thanks). After spending several months writing material with this lineup, the quest for a vocalist led to throatman Ken MacKay (ex-Big John Studd). After playing with this lineup for approximately six months and recording "Living Through the End" (their self-released debut/demo CD), Dion had to leave the band due to familial obligations. Without skipping a beat, MacKay's younger brother Phil stepped in to solidify the lineup.
Ichabod then recorded four interpretive "cover" songs (LaPeste "Better off Dead", the Cars "Candy-O", the Misfits "Horror Business" and Faith No More "Absolute Zero") for several compilations. The latter is included on Tribute of the Year, a Faith No More double-disc tribute released by Martin Atkins' (of Killing Joke, PIL, NIN, Ministry, etc. fame) Invisible Records in July '02.
Recently, after a number of high-profile MA based gigs (including main stage at the 4th annual New England Hardcore and Metal Festival) and relentless promotion of the band through touring and internet networking, Ichabod landed a recording contract with new MA based upstart label Rootsucker Records, the label imprint of David Tornstrom's Black Locust Entertainment. This is the home of the second Ichabod recording titled "Let the Bad Times Roll", a full-length, 8-song CD. Shortly after finishing the recording, the band parted ways with bassist Ken Joyner, opening the door for bassmaster Greg Dellaria (ex-Blood for Blood) to join Ichabod on their quest.
Most of the members of Ichabod are indigenous to the greater Lowell, MA area, a city whose abundant melancholy is evident in the landscape of mill husks and industrial scarring; where drab childhoods become drug habits and the complexities of immigration and postindustrial anxiety are forever immortalized in the intoxicated verse of Jack Kerouac. Although the four have lived or currently live elsewhere, they seem incapable of escaping their roots in the Mill City. This background plays a major role in Ichabod's sound.
Depending heavily upon the subjectivity of the listener, Ichabod has been described as everything from hardcore to hard rock, punk to psychedelic, crust to metal, doom to stoner rock, noise to spacerock, and seemingly all else in between. But to commit this band to one genre would be restrictive, for the influences vary indefinitely. The band members themselves are wary of such labels for this very reason. The common threads are the organic atmospherics and claustrophobic energy that pervade the music, but never without there being light at the end of the tunnel. Striking matches in the darkness, Today is the Day mastermind Steve Austin captured a glimpse of the Ichabod reality whilst recording "Let the Bad Times Roll". So listen carefully, and if you can stand to let your eyes adjust to the blackness, look or the light in Ichabod's epitaph for humanity...
I could start with an endless list of ICHABOD's influences, but certainly this isn't the best way to describe this highly interesting album. ICHABOD are a Boston-based band, and are aware of the old Punk/Hardcore history of their hometown, but they managed to combine it with elements of psychedelic, wave, noise, doom and more. The result is dark and twisted, and I needed more than one or two spins, to get into the complete album. This band isn't repeating well-known Sludge patterns, not only because of this psychedelic ambience, the claustrophobic sound surrounds. ICHABOD got not much in common with the so-called Sludge sub-genre. The music got a strong progressive edge, with a lot of chord changes, but everything is still very organic, and to make is more diverse with riff-driven up tempo numbers like in "Ceramic Bulldog."The different vocal-style, that are ranging from soft melodies to harsh agression outbreaks. What I like about this band, is their intention to create a heavy intense free-floating sound, that's still emotional, with some uplifting moments. I think, they have done their job very well, although here are a few long-winding parts included, that aren't really convincing me. But apart of it, It's defenitely an intensive listening adventure, but be open-mind enough for ICHABOD. The best is, to do nothing else and give it three spins in one. Steve Austin of Today Is The Day has produced the album, what adds a special dirty low-end sickness to it. There's a photo inside the tasteful designed informative booklet, where the band is sitting around a smoking water-pipe, what's maybe one of the reasons for the Hawkwind-like parts in the sound. This album should be attractive for a lot of listeners out there, as long as you like it complex and intense. This album has been released last year 2002 on Root Sucker Records/Black Locust Entertainment.
Klaus Kleinowski (Cosmic Lava)
by Rob Wrong
Once in a while a band comes along that pushes the envelope a little more than the bands before them, and in a tasteful manner, and that is the tricky part.
Ichabod has a serious aggressive sound that is crust core, metal and deep seeded classic rock influence, almost garage at times. Their sound is always intense and delivers a message similar to a caterpillar plowing through a pile of rubble.
The guitar work is impressive on this CD- there are tricky metal quick galloping parts and angular riffs throughout that shout evil. The overall band is tight and well rehearsed and never off. A good tight unit to say the least. Their sound reminds me of everything from Man is the Bastard to Melvins to Buzzoven...just plain blistering high energy and intense throughout! It`s got some spacalicous moments too like Hawkwind saturated in spacey effects and even at times this stuff hints towards MC5- a strange combination that Ichabod does well.
Get this CD if you want something that isn`t just run of the mill, and a little different, even some Bongzilla moments in there too if you know what I mean...check it out for the sakes of Rock
by Nick Muc
Boston area heavies Ichabod mark their official debut with “Let The Bad Times Roll” '" a vast 8 song-er here (clocking in at almost 60 minutes) full of dense, crusty rock and roll.
Ichabod has a killer sound: similar to that of EHG with hints of vintage Monstermagnet - Chalk that one up to engineer/recorder extraordinaire Steve Austin, the man responsible for the psychotic heaviness of Today Is the Day, and the brilliant recording of Cable’s “Never Trust A Gemini”. Austin has a real knack in bringing out the heaviness in a band: and with Ichabod, he has translated their sound to disc superbly, giving it a truly menacing ambience.
“Inglorious” is a force right from the start, with its crisp, metallic guitar high in the mix, and the wide ranging vocals of Ken MacKay that initially hit me with a Tool/Sabians flavour due to his scream/whisper style - but they definitely move beyond that pigeonhole as the disc progresses. Check out “Escape the Lie”... its violent fuzz and distorted vocals are worthy to be held in the ranks of 25....Tab.
The cool thing about Ichabod is their diverse sound. “Face Down Riverbed Blues” still has Austin’s trademark abrasive guitar and drum production, but on this one we get to hear the chunky blues-doom that these guys can crank out, while “500 Miles Behind” has a swirling, screaming stop/start groove that earns my pick as the showstopper on this disc. “Break Her Neck...” is another great example of Ichabod’s diversity, incorporating the sitar and some of Austin’s all-pro studio effects into the bands impressive mix of groove, metal and sludge.
This is one of the heavier discs that I’ve come across this year (Warning '" definitely not for the weak!) Lots of mp3’s on their website, check them out.
by Chris Barnes
Ichabod are a melding of musicians from around industrial Lowell, MA. Not a pretty place, I hear. Makes sense. The music of Ichabod reflects a good measure of ugly, downtrodden environment. Not the kind of thing you'd create if your childhood home was sunny Carmel, CA or somewhere equally privileged and bucolic. Ichabod is about anger, depression and... thank God... catharis.
The Ichabod experience is unquestionably heavy, but the music transcends the word as we know it. Interwoven with the brutish compression of downtuned power chords lies a feeling of space, even feelings of hope, like they're gonna beat the drug addiction and lethargy associated with their childhood home. Vocalist Ken MacKay let's loose with what seems to be extemporaneous exorcising of demons in an early Rollins/Anselmo-like emotional scream. Then to further unsteady any preconception you might have, he'll roll in with a croon very similar to Dege Legg of Santeria. In fact, I thought that Ichabod might be a resident of the NOLA scene, with it's all around claustrophobic feeling, swamp groove and penchant for experimentation with sitar, harmonica and acoustic guitar. They even remind me a bit of what EyeHateGod would sound like in a jam with Santeria and Neurosis. Brute force tempered with psychedelia and ambient space.
It's all pretty heady stuff, actually. Let the Bad Times Roll is one of those heavy music releases that turns it's back on convention and refuses to be categorized. It's as intellectual as it is punishing. One hell of a debut.
Copyright 2002 HellrideMusic.com
Review by Chris Barnes 4/21/03
by Dave Brenner (Nov. 2003)
Like a good whiskey, Ichabod has improved with age. Last year this Massachusetts quartet delivered diverse/coarse tripped-out heavy rock. "Let the Bad Times Roll" shows musical progress and an expanding of their wide range of influence with eight invigorating, creative, dynamic outlets of rage and emotion.
Brandishing a lethal dose of stoner rock and a sludgy hardcore backbone, adding a dozen new sounds and well-written rock buildups in every song, it's all brought to life by the king of all noise himself, Steve Austin (Today is the Day, owner of Austin Enterprises). Ichabod takes you on a psychedelic/neck-breaking ride through the bong tube, its highlight the punk-inspired assripper "Ceramic Bulldog" that opens up the drunken gates of Hell right into a junkyard circle pit, flooring you with some seriously lethal rock fit for any occasion