2 weeks ago Iceage released ‘Catch It’, their first single since 2014. Dark and brooding ‘Catch It’ is classic Iceage, with Elias Bender Rønnenfelt half singing, half spitting out lyrics in a haunting way many wish they could. The release of ‘Catch It’ sparked rumours of a new Iceage album for the first time in four years, not that the band have been lazy with Rønnenfelt having released two albums under the name Marching Church in the meantime.
Iceage have now announced the release of their fourth album ‘Beyondless’ which comes out 4th March on Matador and have shared second single ‘Pain Killer’. The track starts is uncharacteristically cheerful with horns blasting out melodies in a major key and fast paced furious drums and guitars filling in the gaps. Rønnenfelt’s vocals are gloomy as ever, slightly out of tune in a way that borders between artistic and painful. This is amplified by the guest vocals of Sky Ferreira who matches much of what Rønnenfelt sings but at times seemingly in a different key.
This isn’t the only messy thing about ‘Pain Killer’. Instruments blend into each other in the mix and only the horns are easy to single out. At times the horns are overpowering and it seems like they only return so frequently because so much effort has gone in to record them when it could be argued that the track could do without them. Ferreira’s guest vocals could also go a miss and just complicate an already messy mix. ‘Pain Killer’ is a song that had potential but has been overworked, thankfully ‘Catch it’ is more like the Iceage we have come to expect. Hopefully ‘Beyondless’ will be more like their first single than their second.