Iceage – New Brigade Iceage – New Brigade

Of course, I’m listening to Iceage.

Their first record, New Brigade is turning all sorts of scowling hipster heads from their Bon Iver folk erections and bemused (and wantonly degraded) triumph of the hatemongering skate rat beats of the Odd Future crew. And with all the hyperbolic bullshit that’s been thrown around this barely legal Danish quartet, I was pretty shit sure I would hate them.

But I don’t.

New Brigade is the best expression of how terribly fucked up it is to be young and hopeless in an over-privileged world since Unwound first burst their new breed of fatalism all over the face of the Pacific Northwest.

(Oh, how I still love Fake Train)

Iceage is the new youth energy.

Bristling with boredom and wired with untenable rage, these boys froth and bleed (quite literally) with the arresting alienation that gave rise to punk in the first place but they do it in a decidedly post-punk way.

Iceage is too young to give a shit and too old to care.

Their music is spare – thin guitars, primal drumming, lyrics mumbled or moaned with passing hints of emotion. It’s sloppy, almost hapless yet driven to existence by sheer virtue of necessity.

Someone needed to sound like this.

Someone needed to call on early Wire, the Banshees and Joy Division (back when they were fighting drunks, long before love ever tore them apart) and mix their speed with the strange rhythmic tonality of Crass and the melody of…fuck it, I’m going to say XTC, the Undertones, even.

And a lot of it is fucking great (“Remember”, “Collapse”, “You’re Blessed”), some if it is okay (“White Runes”, “Eyes”) but at a total run time of 24 minutes it’s sometimes hard to tell the difference between what’s exceptional and what’s passable but at least this record, mercifully is entirely free of fat.

Actually, I take some of those references back. If this band doesn’t have an “inspirational” copy of Pink Flag in their van, I’ll eat my fucking hat.


1. Intro
2. White Rune
3. New Brigade
4. Remember
5. Rotting Heights
6. Total Drench
7. Broke Bone
8. Collapse
9. Eyes
10. Count Me In
11. Never Return
12. You’re Blessed

Iceage - New Brigade, reviewed by Charles on 2011-07-25T09:06:59-07:00 rating 3.5 out of 5

4 Responses about “Iceage – New Brigade”

  • Good review. When I first got this disc I also thought of “The Creator” and all the other junk this year that gets attention. There’s also been a lot of knee-jerk reaction to this album. The Wire & Joy Division comparison is true, it may not be re-inventing anything but it’s something we can use more of right now.

  • Killedcat says:

    Saw these guys the other night with the Eagulls supporting in a crowd of beard stroking record executives wondering if they missed the beat with the Matador signing. Pretty sure that a) the execs left feeling vindicated b) the four children at the front left excited and c) I left really disappointed. There was a shed load of preening going on onstage but the sound was mild and the delivery did not whip up the expectant crowd into the occasion that should have been more than the sum of its parts. I jumped around and managed to squeeze a good time out of the night but it was like doing a small poo when you’re expecting a big one. And that’s what I’m left feeling about iceage – all fart and no poo – just going through the motions. I honestly think that if you’re young and irritated about the world you’re not going to build a punk band only to have your dad / older brother tell you that this is a sound they have already co-opted. Hopefully you’ll take down some servers instead.

  • Ben says:

    KilledCat wins best comment of the month