“Technology, Safety Dominate Discussion” – The Wanderer – October 23, 2014

“Technology, Safety Dominate Discussion” – The Wanderer – October 23, 2014


Iceage Brings Danish Punk to Easthampton

Iceage - Plowing Into The Field Of Love cover

Plowing Into The Field Of Love album cover


Plowing Into The Field Of Love


Release date: 10/7/14

On its 2011 debut, New Brigade, Iceage injected youthful energy into a raucous mix of hardcore punk, noise rock, and Goth rumblings.

Just one year ago, a sophomore album, You’re Nothing, expanded the group’s sonic palette with a greater focus on melody and maturity. And now on record number three, Iceage returns with a full-length release that, according to press materials, is “about seeing, learning, and rejecting things, in a cycle that repeats and builds.”

The sequence begins with “On My Fingers.” Stuttering drums back singer Elias Bender Rønnenfelt as he almost croons about the “second coming” and “unrelated hell.” Rønnenfelt’s voice is front and center in the mix, while jittery guitar sounds scratch away in the background.

Track two, “The Lord’s Favorite,” continues the religious allusions over an alt-country beat reminiscent of the band the Meat Puppets at its most acid-fried.

“I do believe in heaven and I do believe it’s real,” sings Rønnenfelt. Listeners can decide for themselves if he really means it.

But not every song hinges on faith. “Abundant Living” and “Cimmerian Shade” each tackle the issue of drunkenness from differing viewpoints. While the former revels in boasts like, “I will outnumber” and “I will out drink,” the latter paints a picture of torment with a narrator unable to take solace in “drunken comfort” because “voices they echo on and on.”

Listen to “Cimmerian Shade” from “Plowing Into The Field Of Love” here:

Throughout Plowing Into The Field Of Love the impression is given that even though Iceage’s members are in their early twenties, their quick success has made them old before their time. Introspective songs like “Glassy Eyed, Dormant and Veiled” show the band looking inside for answers instead of striking out like the angry hardcore thrash group of just a few years prior. The music reflects this growth too with piano and acoustic guitars making appearances to heighten the melancholy of certain moments.

Nowhere does everything come together more fittingly than on the finale of a title track.

Rønnenfelt begins the song with words of warning from a cynical man looking out his mansion window.

He sings, “All those brash young studs / They have no idea what it’s like up here.”

The twist is he’s not bragging. As horns, guitar and marching drums rise around him, the lonely figure may shout for “bootlickers to stand aside,” but his pleas are meaningless. No one can reach him. He’s “plowing into the field of love,” yes. However, his ultimate destination is far darker.

“They will place me in a hearse,” Rønnenfelt shouts, repeating the final word like a mantra before all sound cuts out.

It’s an ending full of release. After spending 45-plus minutes “seeing, learning, and rejecting,” there aren’t many new lessons learned. But many will need a moment to catch their breath before starting such a record over again.

Iceage performs with Helm and Psychic Blood, Oct. 15, 7 p.m., $12, The Flywheel Arts Collective, 43 Main St., Easthampton, (413)527-9800 , www.flywheelarts.org.

For more information or to see future tour dates please visit iceagecopenhagen.eu.

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