Is punk still innovating? Does it even have to? Old, tired questions.
Iceage’s longevity boils down to the opposite. Meddling with the process of each project just enough to challenge themselves and keep things sounding fresh, the Danish group stay prolific because they know what buttons to push within themselves to elicit those reactions.
In a very literal interpretation of the record’s thesis statement, the band relocated to a dilapidated studio in Portugal, home of Spacemen 3’s Pete Kember. His assistance in said button-pushing resonates in his transitional works with the likes of Beach House’s '7' and MGMT’s 'Congratulations'. Would it be so audacious to suggest some of these cuts would have more of a home in those albums rather than their own band’s jazzier predecessor 'Beyondless'? We think not. This is a good thing
Fans can look forward to a number of huge live moments (remember those?) that flit between the sentimental and the roguish. “I don’t know where I’d be without you”, cries Elias Ronnenfelt on 'Gold City', whilst 'Vendetta' opts for an iron-clad, mechanical feel.
'Seek Shelter' welcomes a period where the band lash out and rein in the emotional frequency of each song with sheer ruthlessness. Each of those moments creates a film of cold, sweet sweat. At its best, it’s like coming alive and dying twice over.
Those that are used to their favourite tunes packing an immediate punch may be left disappointed, but the time spent ruminating has clearly served them well.
Words: Shannon McDonagh
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