If Iceage's 2011 debut New Brigade, our choice for #23 album of that year, was, as we (admittedly) put it, a "call to arms," the answer has been loud, varied, and intense. The Danish youths' martial barks and post-punk chill find their most obvious successors in Swedish band Holograms, whose secretly twee twist on scabrous propulsion led to one of SPIN's 40 Best Songs of last year. Along with the Iceage members' own side projects, of which there are surprisingly many, it's also tempting to see fellow Joy Division disciples such as London's Savages (right below Holograms on our Best Songs list) as fellow militants. The armies are mustering.
What, exactly, are we fighting for? Iceage come closer to letting us know with bunker-busting "Coalition," the first track to emerge from their February 19 follow-up (and Matador debut), You're Nothing. It's really something. The hoarse uplift of New Brigade's most civilian-friendly fist raisers returns, but with an upgraded arsenal's laser-guided precision. Clamoring drum breaks and shoegaze-warped guitar fills bolster the band's now-familiar breakneck assault, which still might leave you out of breath.
And there, in the middle of the melee, is singing guitarist Elias Ronnenfeldt, updating the old post-punk trick of phrasing the most intimate acts in the most depersonalized terms. And here's where the fight is joined: "Wants me to take her / But blockades run through my veins / Something denies coalition with you." If these spartan upstarts wanted a war, then they've found themselves in the oldest one of all: the battle between the sexes. "Excess," Ronnenfeldt howls again and again, with biblically tormented fury, as the track judders to a halt. No atheists in foxholes.
Listen below, or download here.
Iceage U.S. tour dates:
January 24 - Middletown, CT @ Wesleyan University (Eclectic House)
January 25 - Brooklyn, NY @ 285 Kent
January 26 - New York, NY @ Home Sweet Home
March 20 - Vancouver, BC @ the Biltmore
March 21 - Seattle, WA @ Barboza
March 22 - Olympia, WA @ Capital Theater (backstage)
March 23 - Portland, OR @ Star Theater
March 25 - San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Stop
March 26 - Oakland, CA @ New Parish
March 28 - Bakersfield, CA @ Munoz Gym
March 29 - Los Angeles, CA @ Echople
March 31 - San Diego, CA @ Casbah
April 1 - Tempe, AZ @ Deadhorse Warehouse
April 4 - Denver, CO @ Marquis Theater
April 6 - Grinnell, IA @ Grinnell College
April 7 - Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock Social Club
April 9 - Madison, WI @ University of Wisconsin
April 10 - Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
April 11 - Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups
April 12 - Pittsburgh, PA @ 6119
April 16 - Burlington, VT @ Monkey House
April 17 - Boston, MA @ TT the Bear's
April 18 - New Haven, CT @ Lilly's Pad (Toad's Place Upstairs)
April 19 - Philadelphia, PA @ First Unitarian Church
April 20 - New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
May 30 - June 2 - Austin, TX @ Chaos in Tejas
You're Nothing tracklist:
4. "Burning Hand"
5. "In Haze"
7. "Everything Drifts"
8. "Wounded Hearts"
9. "It Might Hit First"
12. "You're Nothing"