[sic] Magazine

Iceage – You’re Nothing

Certain fires burn themselves out while others go on to rage with nuclear intensity; the one at the blackened heart of Danish four-piece Iceage is clearly borne of the latter type, having grown immeasurably in size and stability since their splintered post-punk debut in 2011. You’re Nothing is the result and it is nothing short of unstoppable fury channelled into thirty breath-taking minutes.

Perhaps mocking the onslaught of second-album expectation, they launch headlong into “Ecstasy”, intoning “ Pressure, pressure / oh God no / can’t take this pressure “. It’s an immediate, two-fingers-up self-referential blast of nihilism full of feedback, buzzsaw guitars and sheer noise-punk that continues the band’s fascination with straddling the divides melodic hardcore and full-blown noise-rock.

As such, from here on in, You’re Nothing is a real white-knuckle experience. “Coalition” is snotty, fast and loose. Trace elements of guitar surface from within its barrage of maximal noise-punk excess. Later, the fractured surge of “It Might Hit First” tries in vain to keep itself in check and, in between dissonant passages of bile on “In Haze”, there is some great guitar-and-drum bridging work well worthy of note.

In the midst of this riot, the pained post-hardcore of “Burning Hand” slows the pace with the help of Elias Bender Rønnenfelt ‘s deadened vocal and some warped-string fretwork before a brief solo rips its tail-end apart. There’s a bleak tear-jerker of sorts in the form of “Morals” too, in which a piano is buried beneath guitar fuzz, nasty drums and angry vocals bemoaning a lack of said morals.

They attack “Wounded Hearts” however with the sort of conviction and energy that only youth can bring – they’re even now only just out of their teens. We all know how much it hurts to get scarred more deeply than any moshpit injury can bring and Iceage are no different, hammering home their injustices with vicious vocal harmonies and more razor-sharp guitar lines to cut through the noise. Yet, despite the band’s tender years, they’re nevertheless worried about “running out of time” on “Awake” – deciding thusly to tackle everything at once and at speed, repeatedly pausing for effect before unleashing their demons in short bursts.

You’re Nothing is an intense listen from start to finish, the closing title track not letting up until its final bars and final sneers are done – and Rønnenfelt is scarcely less strained when spitting his viscera in his native tongue on “Rodfæstet” it must be said. Once again though, for those already familiar with the unique charms of historic hardcore and noise, Iceage bring little new to the table, but it’s served them so well so far that the explosive You’re Nothing will only add to their fearsome reputation.

With the new Pissed Jeans LP already under its belt, 2013 is shaping up to be a loud one.

Advised downloads: “Ecstasy” and “Coalition”.

~You’re Nothing is released February 18th 2013 on Matador .~


[sic] review: Iceage – New Brigade