DUSTED MAGAZINE

Dusted Reviews

Iceage - New Brigade

today features
reviews charts
labels writers
info donate

Search by Artist



Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Dusted


email address

Recent Reviews

Dusted Reviews


Artist: Iceage

Album: New Brigade

Label: Dais

Review date: Mar. 22, 2011


Ice Age - "Broken Bone" (New Brigade)


Iím going to venture out on a short limb and guess that this teen gang from Denmark took its name from the early recordings of Joy Division. ďIce Age,Ē a track loosely drawn from from Vonnegutís Catís Cradle, dates to the beginning of Joy Divisionís short career when the band was known as Warsaw. While that song has trademark wiry guitar and back-of-the-throat singing, some of those early tracks have full-on Iggy Pop-style whooping and purring.

There hasnít been a shortage of bands that borrow the monotone of Joy Division. But the kids in Iceage pair it with a ragged, snotty attitude. There are times they sound like a version of Ian Curtis et al. that never lost those Stooges affectations, that never found the producer who stripped their material to the bone, that kept getting faster and more jumbled alongside the burgeoning hardcore scene.

Seeing as the Manchester kids scrapped their first round of recordings and ditched the band name, the Warsaw album has mostly been a footnote. Before the age of file torrenting a discography, it was nothing to get fixated on because it wasnít easy to come across. But the noisy path not taken, so distant from where New Order ended up, is intriguing. After decades of bands exploring the skeletal atmosphere and despair that ushered in post-punk, Iceage uses that jaggedness in a way nearly opposite from danceable guitar rock.

The music on New Brigade is sparse but frantic. The title implies a creepy fascination with Teutonic identity, which is reinforced by the hoods and pagan logos in Iceageís homemade video, then just as quickly dispelled by the puffs of bong smoke and overall silliness. The songs arenít post-punk Ö or post anything, really. These boys seem to have stumbled out of a garage only vaguely sure of when to hit their instruments. Jerk-off adolescent fury fuels the angularity far more than any time spent examining old albums. New Brigade is a happy accident made without undue influence. These boys are gonna freak when they hear Scratch Acid.

Simply put, Iceage tap a vein of musical disfigurement that I havenít heard before, and Iím dying to know how they came up with it. Whenever a chorus or some mid-range pleasantness shows up, itís kicked aside. ďBroken BoneĒ has bits that march along like an anthem might take shape, only to have horrifying treble shred it apart. Each dude is fighting for the foreground. How much of their lack of tuning is for effect, and how much is just lo-fi expedience? Thereís something lunky and crude that weighs down the chaos, even if it outwardly resembles arty contrariness. Motorik without motor skills, New Brigade actually sounds new.

By Ben Donnelly

Other Reviews of Iceage

Youíre Nothing

Read More

View all articles by Ben Donnelly

Find out more about Dais

©2002-2011 Dusted Magazine. All Rights Reserved.