All under 20, Iceage’s debut encapsulates the feeling of bubbling teenage angst in a thrash of 24 minutes. It’s murky, erratic and clumsy, but beautifully so – guitars stab and argue whilst frontman Elias Bender Ronnenfelt’s vocals are almost unnecessarily harsh. The whole sound is foreboding.
Emulating the rushed sense of their notoriously brutal live shows, it’s plain to see that recording their album in 4 days has aided Iceage’s sound. Released on Abeano, New Brigade is not a record that tries too hard: the hyped White Rune is the standout for its messy, pulsing edge but both the title track and Broken Bone impress. The former sounds strained, strangely poetically so whilst the latter’s skewed marriage of jumpy guitars and calls of ‘Keep on searching!’ work well.
Iceage are a strikingly visceral band but there’s also an endearing sheen of purity glossing their wall of noise. They’ve managed to stage their ominous brand of punk in a very accessible way, offering a clean, sharp presentation of their sound despite first appearances. It’s difficult to resist them.
These Danish upstarts are a band with conviction and New Brigade demonstrates this – catch them live in September for another ride.