*Main Image Provided by: @brownmetal (Michael-Rex Carbonell)

Joey Rubenstein plays guitar and is the lead vocalist of the band Icarus the Owl. They will be going on tour with Hotel Books relatively soon, check out the dates HERE. They’ve been working on another album and while we already know what influences Tim will be bringing to the table, let’s see what influences Joey has been bringing to the table since the very beginning.

Blink 182 – Dude Ranch
“Dude Ranch was the reason I picked up a guitar and started a band. The moment “Pathetic” starts, it’s a tidal wave of energy and catchiness that is unparalleled. I would jump off my couch and pretend I was Tom Delonge. To this day, I sing harmony with every single song on this album. I almost picked the self-titled, but I mean, this album started it all for me.”


Thrice – Vheissu
“Melody is king and Thrice manages to write beautiful melodies full of genuine emotion while giving you music lessons. This album is so well-rounded and taught me that you can play more than one genre of music for an album and still have it be cohesive. This album shaped the way I write music more than I can even fathom.”


Death Cab For Cutie – Plans
“This album hit me when I was 18 and it hit me hard. I was a Freshman in College at the time. I would just lay in my dorm/apartment with my headphones on listening to this album on repeat. The lyrics are intelligent and the music is smart without being over complicated. I was in love and still am.”


Copeland – You Are My Sunshine
“This album came out when my old band was on tour, so I bought it in a store in Iowa the day it came out. I was already a huge fan of the band. I didn’t download a leak or hear any streams of the songs before it came out. I popped it in the van CD player and it didn’t leave the entire tour, much to my band’s dismay. The vocal layering on this album changed the way I write vocals. Aaron Marsh is the songbird of my world.”


Lagwagon – Let’s Talk About Feelings
“I grew up on Fat Wreck and Epitaph bands like NOFX, Bad Religion, Pennywise, Etc. Lagwagon’s Let’s Talk About Feelings always stood out as a cut above the rest. It was fast and deeply emotional to me. I have great but dark memories listening to this album as a kid. It is timeless to me. It definitely holds up.”


Bon Iver – Bon Iver
“The moment the album starts, I am taken to an entirely different place. Bon Iver has succeeded in doing what songwriters have been trying to do forever: transport the listener somewhere else. I associate this album with being in love and every single song gives me the headspace of being in love. It’s a wonderful feeling.”


As Tall As Lions – As Tall As Lions
“I was riding in a friends car about 10 years ago and he was listening to this album. Immediately, I asked, “who the hell is this and why don’t I already own this record?”. Dan’s voice is so unique and has been a big influence on my own. The tones on this record are perfect. The line “What happened to the boy inside your tummy” from ‘Milk And Honey’ gets me every single time.”


Rufio – Perhaps… I Suppose
“You mean you can be fast, catchy, have shredding guitar harmonies, and sing about girls? I used to be that kid who would try to find new bands, so I could be the first one to tell my friends about them. The jocks had already found out about Blink and New Found Glory, so Rufio was our best kept secret. I was such a little dipshit. I found Rufio on MP3.com (when it ruled), downloaded their 5 song demo for free, and burned a copy for all my friends. “Dude! They Shred!” I would always say. I even signed up to be on their street team. So, when they finally put out their first full length, “Perhaps… I Suppose” in 2001 (I am old), I was floored by how good it was. It came out the same day as Take Off Your Pants And Jacket from Blink 182. That was a good day. That was a good summer. It literally got stuck in my CD player so I had to buy another copy.”

Jimmy Eat World – Bleed American (Self-Titled)
“Jimmy Eat World had to make this list. It was so tough picking between Bleed American, Clarity, and Futures. I ultimately decided on Bleed American because it is, I feel, the album that is the average of Futures and Clarity. It’s a copout. How can you pick from 3 perfect albums from the same band? My list can’t be 1. Jimmy Eat World – Futures 2. Jimmy Eat World – Bleed American . 3. Jimmy Eat World – Clarity, can it? If you don’t feel anything during the part where they sing “Crimson and Clover…over and over” from the song ‘Praise Chorus’ you have no soul. To each their own…but you’re a monster. Monster.”


Days Away –Mapping An Invisible World
“This album needs to be heard. It is perfect. Not many people know about it and that should be a crime. The singer went on to form the band “Good Old War” who is also brilliant. This album is full of hooks and stellar musicianship. Their drummer has always been one of my favorites. I got to see them live before they broke up. I cannot express enough how criminally underrated this album is. I am not sure why this band got overlooked. It was even a Fueled By Ramen release. I have a plan: Make this album huge, make them tour on this album, make Joey happy. Thanks.”

Runner-ups to check out (let’s be honest, top 10’s are impossible):

Lydia – Illuminate


Third Eye Blind – Third Eye Blind


Edison Glass – Time Is Fiction


Cave In – Antenna


And as always, check out Joey’s band Icarus the Owl! Their last release, Pilot Waves, was absolutely phenomenal and I can’t wait to hear what they have for us next!