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Iceage – You’re Nothing album review

Listening to the new release by Danish punk rock four-piece Iceage is a reminder that the nihilistic anarchy unleashed in Southern California at the tail end of the seventies by Black Flag is still rearing its ugly, balding head. Yes, Iceage is a hardcore band, one in which the lead singer bears a passing resemblance to Blixa Bargeld.

To be fair, they do manage to find some ways of injecting the ‘fast as hell in 120 seconds or less’ formula with some interesting bits of musical invention, but the bulk of the album is essentially a re-write of the last thirty years of punk rock. While hardcore is the default sound canvas on which the band chooses to paint its musical pictures, there are traces of post-punk, punk-punk, alternative, and that style of musical anarchy formulated by Crass. All that aside, the band does manage to generate a lot of energy, and manage to convey a sense of breathless excitement to their aural rehash.

Tracks like ‘Interlude’ do break things up a bit, with its quasi-industrial atmospherics and impersonal angst offering some kind of reprieve. There are other moments, at the beginnings of a couple of songs, where the tempos are slower and things not quite so frantic, but those moments are few.

All the same, the music is not completely devoid of interest, as long as you don’t get into listening to them expecting some kind of revelatory experience to come of it. Their last album, ‘New Brigade’ was much more interesting.

By Paul Paradis

Paul is a musician, writer, and teacher living in Tacoma. When not engaged in the endless task of raising his six year old whirling dervish James Sparhawk, he spends his time creating music, pursuing a bachelor's, working out, and living. He is originally from the east coast: Worcester, Mass. born, and Providence, RI bred. Having traveled around some, the Pacific Northwest tends to feel more and more like home with each passing day, Very similar to New England in some ways, but different in a way that is refreshing. Rock on.

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