Beautiful, energetic, and above all, triumphant.
Label: Matador Records
Released: 4th May 2018
Iceage’s fourth album ‘Beyondless’ sees the Copenhagen group refine and restrict the venom that made their early albums so pertinent. However, as the venom and vigour makes up a much smaller aspect of the band’s music, Iceage plug that void with luscious instrumentation and masterful lyrics, which allows the band to express a spectrum of feelings and emotions throughout the record. Despite the fact that it is indeed a chaotic affair, ‘Beyondless’ is the band’s most accomplished work to date, a colourful affair that sounds beautiful, energetic, and above all, triumphant.
‘Beyondless’ is an album as chaotic and cathartic as the individual at the centre of it; Elias Bender Rønnenfelt, the band’s wiry frontman. His coarse vocal delivery on lead single ‘Catch It’ sees him spit out lyrics from the very back of his dry, dry throat, and on ‘Pain Killer’ these wry vocal flourishes are juxtaposed by the surly harmonies of Sky Ferreira. The lyrics are pure poetry, too, evident as Rønnenfelt barks; “Praying at the altar of your legs and feet, your saliva is a drug so bittersweet/I’ll arrogate what’s there to take, in an evanescent embrace”.
‘Thieves Like Us’ sounds like a sea shanty on quaaludes, a wilting guitar line and higgledy-piggledy vocal rasps and howls. The song is carried to it’s boozy, euphoric climate by a vaudevillian piano line, and with it, Iceage have seemingly found a sound that is wholly their own. There’s more to unpick with every listen, but standouts include the haze of ‘Catch It’, the sordid goblin strut of ‘Showtime’, and the feeling of absolute triumph of sax-laden opener ‘Hurrah’. Iceage have always looked the part; the surly last gang in town with music that barely matched up to their aesthetic and reputation. Now though, in the wake of ‘Beyondless’, it seems that if Iceage really were the last gang in town, that wouldn’t be a bad thing at all. Cal Cashin