If you’re drawn to Iceage, it’s probably because the group’s hyperactive intensity has left a clear bruise on every bone in your body. The Danish punks have uprooted the philosophy of sounding both old and new, and having moved on from the post-punk commotion to New Brigade, they’ve found a way to maintain it for the course of 12 songs that push desires to an extreme. The funny thing is You’re Nothing is the most human record to be thrown at anyone’s feet in the past month or so. Every song seems reassembled, but with a purpose; “In Haze” is infected with hostile melodies and transitions, “Coalition” thrashes with the curse of love, and the sonic combustion on “Burning Hand” still makes Elias Rønnenfelt sound like he’s being held captive in his own world. Artistically, it’s sheer chaos.
If you were to strip the record of its improvement on head-slamming alt punk, you’d almost wonder if it was based on the concept of a 21st-century youth closing his first novel, only to observes its insecurities and tear apart his apartment in the process. The love/hate complex is something the band puts more thought into on You’re Nothing and its turned their live tendencies into a new breed of calculated ferocity. As “Morals” goes neck-deep in the thick bellow of piano chords, a first for the band, “Everything Drifts” and “Wounded Hearts” let go sieving riffs that peel the skin back and let the inner anarchist shine while Rønnenfelt brings the whole fucking ceiling down with his undying call-to-arms assertion. The tones flicker on and off with the band’s creative process but they channel Iceage’s substance; as dynamic as they are, their relentless cohesion is no laughing matter.
Listen: “Wounded Hearts”, “In Haze”, “Awake” || Watch: Iceage – “Ecstasy”