Where: Matador Records
Whoahhhh boy. Iceage are a Danish punk rock band and after gracing us with two superb albums in New Brigade and You’re Nothing which showcased punk music shown in a much more refreshing and disgusting light, they come back with their third album Plowing Into The Field Of Love. This new album as revealed by lead single The Lord’s Favourite heads into a much different direction that keeps it a little out of the shadows of punk, allowing other genres like post-punk, rock, folk to come into the fray to create one of the most exciting album releases of the year.
This change in sound was foreshadowed in the form of Morals, a track on last year’s You’re Nothingwhich saw Iceage center the sound around piano keys. Freaking KEYS. The band expanded their sound just a tad to create one of the more standout tracks and surprises on the album, and one that certainly had a few people either excited or worried that they were going to head towards a direction that dissolved the gritty intensity and highlighted the twinkly-twinks of the piano. Fortunately Iceage are one of the few emerging bands to come out with a 100% record in terms of satisfying their ever increasing audience so they have succeeded in driving down this new direction in the same old car that got them to their previous destinations before.
Opening track On My Fingers sees Iceage 2014 be a band that focuses on delivering riffs that are catchy instead of mental, but delivering them with the Danish ferocity that we’ve come to expect from them. The piano keys come in shortly after but add a certain terrifying atmosphere as if the piano was taken through a ritual of being severing beaten up before being accepted onto this record. There’s hints of slide guitar thrown in beneath this unexpectedly lush instrumentation, and it’s all kept coiled tight by the classic drawl of the vocals, which sound just as drawl-y and passionate as ever. It’s a superb reintroduction, and Iceage have managed to leave a strong, strong impression with this first track.
Glassy Eyed, Dormant and Veiled sees the arrival of horns make their way onto the track as it tears through the airwaves with ridiculously fast-paced guitar riffs and drum rolls dropping in and out throughout, with Iceage placing hazier, cleaner guitar chords inbetween perfectly to really help build up this song into a true ballad. It’s crazy to witness this track because it shows just how freaking talented Iceage are. This is a true highlight on an album that is comprised of highlights, and it’s just so gratifying.
Abundant Living is arguably the catchiest song Iceage have ever made as it’s opening guitar riff and mandalin-played hook just suddenly turns all of the abrasiveness into one solitary moment of groove. It’s superb, and Iceage do a great job at allowing it to sink just a little bit out of time into their traditional off-kilter sound.
Plowing Into The Field Of Love is one fantastic listen. Any worry of Iceage going soft is abolished many, many times throughout this record as despite the open invitation of instruments it still maintains the heaviness we’ve come to love from them. Tracks such as like How Many, Cimmerian Shade and the aforementioned reveal just how great a job Iceage have done with combining the new with the old, and transforming their sound into something that’s lush and beautiful as well as chaotic and brash. At the end of the day, Iceage have created one of the best albums of the year, and they’re still pissing against the moon. For more music reviews, free downloads and good lord this is fantastic check out Exploding Head Syndrome on Facebook and Twitter.