Iceage @ Iceland Airwaves 2011
courtesy of draugurinn
So I went into last night’s show with some misplaced expectations (therefore you should read the rest of this review with a grain of salt). Punk Danes Iceage played unfortunately predictable hardcore while Taiwanese noise popper Dirty Beaches presented a surprising cowboy score that sounded like machines meeting nature.
I read some press, listened to a few songs, and counted on some familiarity with the catalog at the label What’s Your Rupture? to get me started with Iceage. And so I was anticipating a post-punk band with hardcore overtones but instead I got a straight up hardcore band with a bit of melodic deftness.
Certainly, hardcore kids Iceage are not to blame for my misplaced anticipation. The four young men from Copenhangen thundered through roughly 10 two-minute songs, whipping up a good old-fashioned mosh pit in a sold-out show in the backstage of the Black Cat on Tuesday night.
courtesy of Po’Jay
Iceage, a punk quartet from Copenhagen, Denmark, have been racing across the country and down the east coast since playing the Pitchfork Festival in Chicago a few weeks ago. The young Scandinavian rockers toured as a supporting act on their first album, New Brigade, last year but now they are back as the main feature this time around, showing up at the Black Cat Tuesday with three opening bands also likely to play short, speedy songs.
The press generally has praised Iceage for keeping the energy and aesthetic of hardcore punk alive. To my ears, however, Iceage has a wider sonic palette that draws more from a more acute post-punk guitar. Their label, What’s Your Rupture? of New York City, specializes in post-punk reissues, singles and now originals. The boys in Iceage aren’t afraid to speed it up and then slow it down a notch after a riveting verse.
They also aren’t afraid to stir up some controversy, as they have done with their use of fascist imagery in a manner similar to Joy Division and Siouxsie and the Banshees did earlier in their careers. Those bands matured and spurned their flirtation with those images. It’ll be telling to see if Iceage grows in the same way.
Tickets to this all-ages show in the backstage room are available online or at the door for $13. Openers include Dirty Beaches, Give, and Satan’s Satyrs. Doors open at 8pm.