Hey guys! How are you all doing? I’m sure you’re doing great because you’re on this site! Hey, I saw that look. Come on, just humor me a bit, will ya? Anyways, the band Iceage has their sophomore release You’re Nothing coming out in a couple weeks, so let’s take a look back and talk about their debut album, New Brigade.
These guys are a post-punk band from Denmark that utilize very intense vocals and instrumentation filtered through brisk and to-the-point tracks. Seriously, the length of this entire album is 24 minutes, so be prepared for songs that will not beat around the bush, AT ALL. However, that’s not a bad thing and I think it actually is what makes this album work so well. From start to finish you hardly have any time to catch your breath as you are being a witness to punk at blazing speeds.
What comes through quite surprisingly on this record is how much depth in terms of atmosphere is present. The album is absolutely drenched in chaos; the vocals are wild and fierce, the drums are tumbling all over the place the guitars are constantly being thrashed and shredded. All of these elements blend together like a giant ball of madness, and that sound is there from start to finish. The sound you get while listening to this album is dark, but at the same time it has a charm to it that makes it seem less intimidating. Maybe it’s just the fact that I find this sort of inaudible vocal delivery to always be amusing, especially in songs that are this fast.
Actually, when you really look at the heart of these songs you will find a lot of catchy melodies. The hook of “Broken Bone” is honestly good enough to be on any alternative rock radio station, if maybe the music surrounding it wasn’t quite as abrasive. Sometimes even catchier than the melodies are the guitar riffs. The opening riff of “Collapse” sounds like the highest note you can hit on a guitar being stretched out and abused for as long as it can possibly take. It just kind of soars over the anarchy below, as sort of a siren that nobody really gives a frig about.
When looking at the consistency of the album, it is almost to the point of redundancy. These songs are all very similar, bar some little touches that make them distinguishable, but it’s the speed and intensity that makes that fault microscopic. If this had been an album of 35+ minutes rather than 24 minutes I think it could have gotten quite repetitive. As it stands, the songs show what their made of for a brief amount of time before the next song punches you in the stomach with the next bag of tricks.
New Brigade is a fantastic debut album that finds a band miraculously heralding a sound that feels unique even if you know where the influences are coming from. They play together like bands of several decades of work together would, and they exude such a confidence that is infectious. It isn’t often that you come across an album with such a brief runtime that feels so jammed packed of memorable moments and inspiration, but these guys completely hit the nail on the head here. This thing is a post-punk roller coaster that is nothing but twisting and turning loops, and when it comes to its conclusion you’ll be jumping off and hopping back in line all over again.
Release Date: January 7, 2011
Genres: Punk Rock, Post-punk, Hardcore