Iceage – You’re Nothing Album (Matador Records)
CD / DL / LP
The new album by Denmark’s Iceage came out yesterday to universal acclaim & a general sense of agreement that it’s a real improvement on their debut album. So, does our man Craig Johnson agree with everyone else? Read on to find out.
I’ve been listening to the new Iceage album, trying to decide if I like it. And to be honest, I still haven’t come to a solid conclusion. I really enjoyed their debut ‘New Brigade’ in 2011 as it seemed to be a fresh voice in a genre full of stale sounding copycats. I think the problem I have with ‘You’re Nothing’ is that it is just a continuation of what’s come before. Their sound hasn’t really developed a great deal and the ‘punk’ feel still sounds the same. I guess though that that isn’t a bad thing…
It’s not a bad album certainly. Not by a long shot. It’s just not ground breaking. I think the problem here is the hype surrounding the band. They seemed to come out of nowhere and everyone loved them & now that the initial surprise has worn off, their true colours are starting to show through, i.e. that they’re just another band playing punk songs. Sometimes it’s difficult to look past the hype and see if the music a band are playing is actually any good at all.
I’m on my fourth or fifth listen and I admit it’s grown on me after each play through. There’s a sense of urgency throughout the music. Everything seems rushed. Guitar lines are fast and vocals are forced out. This only adds to the atmosphere of being a punk record though. I like that fact that it sounds far from being polished. With Iceage, I think the rough aesthetic is more closely integrated with their music than a lot of other bands that use noise to hide their shoddy workmanship. They’re a band that just wants to play music, have fun and not care what anyone else thinks about them.
Maybe I’m being a bit too critical. I can’t decide. I suppose I just hoped for more. I really wanted to listen to this for the first time and fall in love with it. Unfortunately, things just don’t happen the way you expect them too and I’ve had to spend a bit more time investigating every little aspect before getting any real joy out of it. That’s just me though. Everyone else will probably love the album on the first listen and that’s fine. They’re worth keeping an eye on as, hopefully, they will start to expand their sound and create something that is utterly captivating and covers territory that is still hidden.
For now though, it just doesn’t quite live up to that hype.