Iceage - Beyondless - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Iceage - Beyondless

by Kevin Orton Rating:9 Release Date:2018-05-04
Iceage - Beyondless
Iceage - Beyondless

If one can spot Icegage’s influences a mile off, they certainly have great taste. Took me a while to pin point it but their lead singer brings Gun Club’s Jeffrey Lee Pierce to mind. A laconic drawl that strangles notes until they become fashionably off key. Of course, every band has their influences, the question is what they do with them. For my money, Iceage live up to the title of their fourth long player. Beyondless possesses a diversity and eclecticism that truly reaches beyond the scope their influences.

If you think the opener, ‘Hurrah’ is something to cheer about, think again. With a chorus of, “We can’t stop killing and we shouldn’t stop killing,” it’s a cynically humanitarian kick off.  Vocalist, Elias Bender Rønnenfelt’s “fuck me I’m so cool” sneer driving the point home. Before you have a chance to catch your breath, blaring horns bring on ‘Painkiller’, a memorably deranged duet with Sky Ferreira.

‘The Day The Music Dies’ mixes more horns with driving Stooges riffs to winning effect. The brooding ballad, ‘Plead The Fifth’ dials the attack back a bit before the majestic, ‘Catch’. Doomy guitars summoning both The Stooges' ‘We Will Fall’ and 'Mass Production' off Iggy's The Idiot . In addition, you have an infectiously “catch it, catch it, catch it,” catchy chorus. A truly stellar track. The entire band going to town, taking no prisoners. Live, this must make the walls shake on their foundations. Powerful stuff.

‘Thieves Like Us’, follows and plays at being a Country song, full of camp and sarcasm. Lines like, “makes one want to file a restraining order against humanity or myself,” going to show behind the dour pose, there’s a healthy sense of humor. Another album standout.

The atmospheric ‘Take It All’ is pure Disintegration Cure. Any derivativeness forgiven by a performance that owns it all without apology. A gorgeous digression before the sax driven nocturne of ‘Showtime’. Rønnenfelt’s poison pen aimed at the superficiality of aspiring celebrities. The song perversely falling into a jaded revelry, reminiscent of Lou Reed’s, ‘Goodnight Ladies’.

But leave it to the album’s title track to send us off into the stratosphere. ‘Beyondless’ is an eerie farewell to a dynamic album. Featuring crackling, churning synths that hark back to early Brian Eno.

If you ask me, Iceage beat the Horrors at their own racket. Just as cleverly derivative but a touch more genuine. If talent is knowing what to rip off and what not to, you can’t go wrong with thieves like Iceage. As the old adage goes, “amateurs borrow, professionals steal.” Guaranteed to take you off the beaten path to an emotional underworld patronized by the tragically hip and the knowingly damned.

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