Iceage – New Brigade album review

Although it may be an abrasive kick to the unaccustomed ear upon first listen, don’t be so quick to shelf “New Brigade,” the debut release for the newest teen rebel sensation “Iceage.” Fresh out of high school, the Copenhagen quartet are putting a new spin on punk rock, nodding to post-punk, making noise, and getting violent in a twenty-four minute virtuosic firecracker that will punch you in the face and drag you through the dirt with bold-faced prowess. Serving up scathing guitars, fierce drum work, noisy dissonance, innovative bridges, and a chaotic stylistic splattering, “New Brigade” remains true to its title as these baby-faced Danes have grown, graduated, and are gaining momentum as punk rock’s newest band of reckless rogues.

The short, smart, and fiery album begins with a dissonant and visual instrumental intro that warns of the ominous approach of a powerful and possibly destructive army of giants with a plan. Seems appropriate enough as an introduction, and the boys hold fast to their promise with a bold and giant leap for such young, and obviously brazen lads, unleashing their technical talons on tracks like “White Rune,” “Remember,” and “Total Drench,” and aside from the occasional tendency to fumble out of the gate after a complex rhythmic change, Iceage create a tight ride through grungy grooves and syncopated bridges, articulate bass lines, sharp chromatic sequences, wild noise and ordered chaos, and then they drop us spinning and smarting at track-side as they vanish into the mystery of their obscurity. Who are they? Where did they come from? How old are they? Do their mothers know about this?

It’s rough, it’s raw, it hurts, and it may toss you around a little, but give it the time to say its piece, and “New Brigade” speaks of great things to come. There seems to be a freeze coming in from Denmark, and it’s plowing its way to the speakers and the stages of foreign shores, clearing paths, taking hostages, and bringing with it a new brigade of sound and idea to the aggressive rock of the new millennium.

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