Album Review Iceage - Seek Shelter

Iceage - Seek Shelter

A rollercoaster ride of diverse influences.

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The trajectory Iceage have followed over the course of the past decade has made for fascinating viewing: starting out as an incendiary punk outfit that sold branded knives at the merch table at their myth-making live shows, the then-teenagers from Copenhagen have matured before our eyes, and their sound along with it. Die-hard adherents to the nihilistic mayhem that came to characterise debut LP ‘New Brigade’ and follow-up ‘You’re Nothing’ might view the band’s arc since as one that’s involved a mellowing - a rounding off of sharp edges, and a gradual introduction of polish where once there was only scuzz. This fifth record, ‘Seek Shelter’, feels like a culmination of the journey they’ve been on since 2014’s ‘Plowing Into the Field of Love’. A rollercoaster ride of diverse influences, the album takes us everywhere from nods to the freewheeling indie rock of ‘90s Jesus and Mary Chain (‘Dear Saint Cecilia’) to glossy, sixties-inflected love letters (‘Drink Rain’), via handsome, string-backed introspection (‘Love Kills Slowly’) and, on the standout ‘High & Hurt’, there’s a thrilling rework at the midpoint of the classic hymn ‘Will the Circle Be Unbroken?’ that imbues it with moody menace. At the centre of it all is a thoughtful, almost earnest lyrical throughline from frontman Elias Bender Rønnenfelt - not something many of us ever expected to hear from the band who brought us ‘New Brigade’.

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