Ice, Sea, Dead People.
London, Old Blue Last.
17th May 2012
Ice, Sea, Dead People are a London based ‘art-punk’ trio. They’re gaining a reputation as being a great live band so we sent our man Andy Tillett along to check them out.
About ten years ago rock got messed up. On one side it lapsed into self-parody, on the other it turned into the ridiculous, navel gazing bore machine of ”Ëmath rock’. Where’s the riffs? Where’s the venom? Where are the four people attacking their instruments like emaciated lions on a pair of baby gazelles?
It took much less than the two and a half-odd minutes of seering hot, unhinged guitar which was Ice Sea Dead People’s opener, ‘Diamond Swords’, to welcome what’s been missing. THESE riffs, big chunky ones. Guys screaming indecipherable lyrics over tracks teetering between absolute control and a bloody mess of feedback. A rhythm section trying to splatter your skull against the wall. And people still want to go watch The xx?
Ice Sea Dead people’s songs are arty, but never over-complicated, belligerent but not dumb, noisy, but not inaccessible. Craig Sharp tends to dominate proceedings, but the band’s combined noise is phenomenal. The only discernable ”Ësinging’ comes during single ”ËUltra Silence’, courtesy of some barely-in-tune backing vocals, the rest is roared, properly, raw-throat roared by all three members out front. Despite their best attempts the band are tight, and wrap stop start dynamics around sharp, concrete solid walls of noise. The crowd were obviously so stunned by what they were seeing they couldn’t get it together to dance. That’s their problem.
The only real negative point is the snotty, hipster-y ‘pretend not to care’ attitude that appears to imbue everything, but when you have songs like these you can afford a little arrogance. Ice Sea Dead People don’t do anything that hasn’t kinda been done before, but they have a sound unlike anything for ages, and they play it really fucking well. Kurt Cobain would have liked this band, and for that we can forgive them their terrible name.
All words Andy Tillett.