Written on 25/02/2013 by Chester Whelks • No Comments

Iceage: ‘You’re Nothing’ – Album review

Matador, 2013
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‘New Brigade’ came pounding out of darkness to your door, before flailing around your house like an amphetamine-addled Warsaw during one of Ian Curtis’ epileptic fits. I can’t remember a debut sounding so menacing and energetic; Guitar like it’s being played with a cheese grater, bass superficially compliant, but on closer examination, psychotically off-kilter. Meanwhile, the drummer packs-in more hits than a one-man-band hurtling down a a chalky Møn cliffside into the indifferent (have you ever slapped damp) sand(?).

Whose (and how many) bones were you lending a hand in applauding the crushing certainty & permanence of the world at the expense of a futile millisecond of your own virility? Vocal delivery on album opener ‘Ecstacy’ is a little more deceptively affected amid the familiar squall, like Julian Casablancas’ Roller Disco in the Inferno, until:


Oh, Gød, his voice has this rusty diameter facillitating a noxious honk like he has mufflers for lungs.


Electric guitar as-heard from inside an old can. Shards of YoYo-ing nickel off strings like Sonic Youth’s infancy: Inhuman, Creeping Hell & Freezer Burn. The Militaristic and ominous ‘Interlude’ provides momentary relief/pageantry like a Birchenau Stag-Do.

Oh, Elias ‘Vampire-Rimbaud’ Ronnenfelt; Little blood spots blossom on his school shirt, as he unclasps his interlocking, dirt-defined fingers to reveal a dead Løvsanger, or get his grubby, pulsating lob-on out under the desk to show Marija Henningsen.

‘Burning Hand’. He’s melting crayons on the radiator. Throwing peanut M&Ms at All The President’s Men. Moving Reece’s Pieces using telekenesis. Slapping dandelion clocks with the end of his cock. Ejaculating blood-streaked semen into your strawberry milkshake, after being locked into unconscionable congress with Torben the class tramp behind the half-demolished wall under the rope-swing where the never-frequented video-shop car park ends, and the backyard of his block of flats begins.



<i>”A young moose (Alces alces) has in the summer 1999 swimmed across the narrow strait between Sweeden and Northern Seeland. It has been wandering around in the area and has also been spotted in South Seeland. A few times in this century this has happened, but the moose has mostly been shot due to its danger in the traffic in the high populated areas on Seeland. Only once a single moose has been living for some years in the big forests in Northern Seeland. This time the moose will be allowed to live if it doesn’t mess around in the traffic. There have been rumours about a second moose, and may be they can settle down in the big forests in Northern Seeland and breed in some years ?

There has never been a wild population of moose in Dennmark, but the
species is common in Sweeden.

Latest news: The single moose has now been killed by a train.”<i>



There are flashes of clarity on ‘In Haze’, their clearest ditty yet - your Dad might try humming-along before making some irrelevant comparison to a band that his age gives him a certain authority-on, but you know he never actually liked. ‘Morals’ has this little spotlit piano in the background as though it were a mimetic indication of the fact that Iceage actually have some.

It is truly beautiful…

…then ‘Everything Drifts’ drills a singular guitar string into your eyeball, and bores dress-making pins deep into pretty girls’ foreheads. Johan Surrballe Wieth deigns to coalesce with Elias’s vocals in a couple of brief hot-footing stepping stone interludes for what could be considered a catchy chorus, while ‘Wounded Hearts’ boasts a lackadaisical arms round shoulders “nuh, nuh, nuh-ing” sing-along moment from the whole band, and ‘It Might Hit First’ certainly does – like a procession of punches showering down on the brainpan.

The similarly brief ‘Rodfæstet’ is completely delivered in Danish, and along with final tracks ‘Awake’ and ‘You’re Nothing’ propel the record hurtling toward the finish with a defeatest positivity that make me imagine what an embarrassment it must be to have to compete with this band. It’d be hackneyed of me to finish this review with the accusation of the title track – as I’m sure has been done elsewhere to better effect – but ultimately it’s only fitting.


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