Label: Mexican Summer
Released: 7th May 2021
In the decade since their debut, Iceage have established themselves as one of the most boundary-pushing bands in punk. Their latest album takes it even further.
‘Seek Shelter’ refuses to settle, restless and varied from start to finish. Thresholds for disorder are pushed to their limits, and their frenetic energy is barely contained; instrumentation collides with the confines of the record, forming jagged edges out of each attempted breach. On the urgent ‘Dear Saint Cecelia’, wails of feedback and frenzied percussion propel the track in any possible direction, outwards and upwards in an explosively spectacular fashion. The sepia-toned jaunt of ‘Drink Rain’ and the flamboyant melodrama of ‘Gold City’ pare down the tension, while ‘Love Kills Slowly’ feels simultaneously euphoric and dystopian — an intoxicating contradiction.
It’s the penultimate track, ‘The Wider Powder Blue’, that best captures this feeling of boundlessness. It’s about four songs in one: tender ballad, stadium anthem, ’00s dance-punk, and eventually an absolute cacophony. Much like ‘Seek Shelter’, there’s no way to predict what shape it will take next.