Iceage build excitement only to let down

If you’ve written all of a song but not the intro then Iceage are the band to hit up. Elias Bender Rønnenfelt and co. have created an album which managed to get me hyped up for about 10 seconds at the beginning of every track and then managed to let me down 10 times. 10 great intros followed by 10 repetitive and dull tracks from a band I expected better from.

I should’ve stopped myself from getting too excited beforehand; lead single ‘Catch It’ only really seemed exciting because it was new Iceage. ‘Pain Killer’ I found hugely disappointing and the other two singles completely passed me by. When two songs by a band with such an amazing track record get virtually no coverage then everyone has a right to worry.

Opening track ‘Hurrah’ is the perfect template for the rest of the album, the instrumental introduction is exciting, a dirty and gritty blend of moody guitars and sharp guitars but Bender Rønnenfekt’s vocals are painfully dissonant and flat and his lyrics are repetitive and boring. The best thing about them is how lost they get in an incredibly muddy mix.

‘Pain Killer’ featuring Sky Fereira is the most disappointing song on the record, as I have stated before. The blasting horn intro fills my heart with joy and makes me want to dance but the feature of Sky Fereira makes Bender seem even more out of time and out of tune when he was already treading a fine line between being artistic and just an awful singer.

‘The Day That Music Dies’ almost makes me wish that music was no more and despite starting off sounding like a deeply emotional and powerful track ‘Plead the Fifth’ lives me feeling absolutely nothing at all except disappointment. The only bit of excitement that comes from the middle of any of the 10 tracks on Iceage’s fourth album is a shift to a can-can-esque rhythm in penultimate track ‘Showtime’ but that is quickly by poor vocals and being followed by title track ‘Beyondless’ which, again, promises so much but delivers so so little.

This Iceage album should probably have been released by Bender’s side project Marching Church, the energy and ferocity of an Iceage album is missing. My recommendation is that you listen to each track until the vocals come in and then skip the rest because the disappointment you’ll feel listening to the whole track gets depressing about halfway through the record.


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