[sic] Magazine

Iceage – New Brigade

If you’re going to stand out in music, either do something new or something old very well. Iceage have plumped for the latter, and their chosen window on the past is a small one – that precise moment when punk diverged into both its post- and hardcore (see the frenetic, discordant 90 seconds of “Count Me In”) varieties. Accordingly then, said four-piece’s teenage racket is not without precedence, but it packs an accessible punch all the same.

With breathless, angst-y brevity in mind, New Brigade clocks in just shy of 25 minutes and you wouldn’t want it any other way. Sudden starts, stops and snotty outburst litter the running order. Galloping drums and tense guitar dominate. Slower bass work blends effectively with fast guitar and chaotic outbursts. The Cockney-twanged vocal that Elias Bender Rønnenfelt affects is authentic too, if far from his native Copenhagen.

A shout-along chorus comes courtesy of “Broken Bone”, a punk-by-numbers offering until shards of guitar rip its tail-end to pieces. The explosive opener, “White Rune”, combines a caustic crunch and sonic sneer that together bring to mind the still-excellent Wire mid-brawl with a cement mixer. Buoyed by high-end guitar skitters, “Collapse” threatens to do just that. “ Holding on, holding on ” Rønnenfelt repeats with bile in his in eyes.

Closing with “You’re Blessed”, a take on the sort of beefy 90s hardcore beloved by the true emo crowd, Iceage finally display their youth and it with it a handful of aces. New Brigade is as much a product of study as it is of love, as much one pilfered from the past as it is delivered with the passion of the present.

Advised downloads: “White Rune” and “Collapse”.

~New Brigade is out now on What’s Your Rupture? ~

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