Title: You’re Nothing
Record Label: Matador
“Pressure/Pressure/Oh god no/Pressure!” are the strangulated words that tumble from Elias Bender Ronnenfelt’s venomous mouth as Iceage’s second LP, You’re Nothing, roars into play during opener ‘Ecstasy’. Having stripped back punk to its sinews, the Danish quartet are back to bombard the senses with their second outing. Whoever prefixed punk with pop definitely didn’t take into consideration the sheer malice of these Copenhagen based hell raisers. Iceage don’t do pop music, they spit out a racket more aligned with hardcore, punk, goth and post punk.
You’re Nothing rings true, like a document doused in urban decay, not in a gang signs kind of way, more akin with grey streets and looming tower blocks, this a sonic soundtrack to a paranoid stumble home, worried where the next mugging is coming from. Claustrophobic and intense, it seems Iceage have gathered up the bleaker moments of modernity, committed it to tape and called it You’re Nothing. Whether it’s Ronnenfelt’s uncompromising bark or the way savaged guitars cut through the air, Iceage sound like a band frustrated and with a distain of today’s bullshit. Imagine the bastard offspring of The Clash and The Horrors and you’ve got an angry problem child of a record on your hands. ‘It Might Hit First’ beckons in the sound of an out of control brawl in a music shop with crazed musicians using their instruments as weapons of war. ‘Coalition’ is pure punk snarl delivered at breakneck speed and ‘Awake’ is the blitzkrieg of riffs and tortured vocals served up rare.
‘Morals’ adds a new depth for the Danes, and the reason for this? They’ve wheeled in a piano to cut through the assault of punk and this little bit of respite provides a welcome breather from the anti-social battering ram that is You’re Nothing. This is until the track clicks into attack mode and its business as usual for the chilly monikered four piece. The album screeches to a halt at under thirty minutes with the title track that has Ronnenfelt slurring the album’s name repeatedly.
Upon its first listen ‘You’re Nothing’ flies too close to the dirge flame but after a few spins, the sheer ferocity and intensity makes Iceage’s new LP an exhausting yet compulsive listen.
Words and Thoughts of Adam Williams