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Anthony Carew

Introducing: Iceage

By May 16, 2011

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Name: Iceage
From: Copenhagen, Denmark
Story: Teen Age Riot
Sound: Frenetic, noisy, tangled, anthemic, chaotic

Danish quartet Iceage are visiting American shores for a handful of East Coast tour dates in June. That's when their debut album, New Brigade, gets released on noise-loving label What's Your Rupture?. And right after the band finish the year up at high-school.

Like countless underage kids before them, the Copenhagen combo are in thrall to hardcore: to its energy, its brevity, its noise, its aggression. But Iceage are not a militant hardcore combo, and —like forebears from Hüsker Dü through No Age— they're set to appeal to a way wider audience. There's definite elements of post-punk experimentalism and classic indie-rock guitar noise to make their music meaningful to people not of The Scene.

And, better yet, they have a bristling, brilliant sense of melody; their bright guitars shining out through the darkness of distortion and aggression. Despite its double-kick drums and lashings of noise, "Never Return" sounds like a classic post-punk anthem: dispirited yet impassioned, playing with negative space and aggressive heft in turn. "Collapse" reminds me of Abe Vigoda's signature 'tropical punk' sound: all bright, brittle, and baying. And "Remember" sounds, somehow, like Iceage —in all their brutal percussion and withering guitar-tone— trying on the spirit of Elvis Costello.

It adds up to 26 charmed minutes of melody and cacophony, wed together with irrepressible adolescent spirit and delivered with punk panache. For fans of the Our Band Could Be Your Life era of the American underground, Iceage will be thrilling, practitioners of a sound both new and old. New Brigade sounds as timeless, and eternal, as teenage rebellion. Holding On:
May 19: Copenhagen, Denmark - Kødboderne 18
May 28: Roskilde, Denmark - Skatehal
June 2: Copenhagen, Denmark - Stengade 18
June 17: New York, NY - Northside Festival/Public Assembly
June 19: Philadelphia, PA - The Barbary
June 20: Baltimore, MD - Golden West
June 21: Pittsburgh, PA - The Shop
June 23: New Haven, CT - Popeye's Garage
June 24: Boston, MA - Royale Nightclub
June 30-July 3: Roskilde, Denmark - Roskilde Festival

Photo © Alberte Karrebaek

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