Iceage before the show
Iceage: Pitchfork London – live review
Iceage before the show

Iceage| deathcrash | The Umlauts
Moth Club
12th November 2021

Callum Gray headed down to Iceage at Moth Club as part of the Pitchfork London supported by the hotly tipped The Umlauts and moody Deathcrash. 

The gig opens with the ecstatically angular The Umlauts; due to tour with Shame, they combine techno with viola and post-punk to fuse an enticingly danceable sound. They successfully show off their nostalgic euro-pop. It’s filled with an edge of the likes of the neue deutsch welle scene, X-Ray Spex, and ESG’s sounds while still retaining a contemporary edge.

With both singers Annabelle Mödlinger and Maria Vittori dancing twitchily together on stage, the energy is infectious. Meanwhile, their bandmates hunch over their keyboards behind them. Through their various collection of synthesizers, they expertly warp electronic sounds, combining bulbous bending bass with tinny, crashing hi-hats.

Iceage: Pitchfork London – live review
The Umlauts

Following on from The Umlauts is the moody (and aptly named) deathcrash. Their builds and releases are a brilliant demonstration of emotional slow-burn, shrouded entirely by darkness, soft blue lights illuminated their forms, faces mostly obscured. Talented musicians in their own right, they shape the sound landscape expertly and with precision. Their set ends with a climax of noise and diving guitar howls.

Initially forming at age 17, they have become, over the past couple of decades, one of the most infamous rock groups, developing a devoted following and rather quickly conquering North America: Iceage commit themselves entirely to performance and this audience is obviously not oblivious. Before long into the set, the crowd swells, and the band dives headfirst into their back catalogue, playing tracks all the way from Beyondless to their more recent release.

Elias irritably prowls the stage, occupying all of it that he can. He retains this nervous energy throughout the hour-long set. What stands out clearly with Iceage is the devotion to the drama of performance. Elias stirs up the crowd, slipping easily into the role of a frantic preacher. The set is peppered by various samples ranging from 1950s film dialogue to helicopter noises, taking the place of chit-chat and blending relatively cleanly with the band’s set. It becomes immersive and really quite captivating.

Iceage: Pitchfork London – live review

Iceage closes the set with a dangerous interpretation of Catch It, complete with growling and screeching guitars and expert lunges into frenetic hardcore rhythms. The drum work from Dan Kjær Nielsen is exceptional; never endangering the rhythm, his technicality and sheer ferocity are put on full show, this combining with the tenacious and visceral guitar work of Johan Wieth. Johan dominates the middle to top-end with forceful shrieks and howls as the song comes to its end. With a clean finale and no encore, Iceage leaves the crowd breathless.

Iceage’s website and social media: Website | Facebook

deathcrash’s website and social media: Website | Facebook

The Umlauts’ website and social media: Website | Facebook


All words by Callum Gray. Find more on his archive.

Special thanks to Sam Huddleston for images and those at Stay Golden.

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