When a band hits the four record mark, you’re probably safe in calling them all various terms for “great.” I cannot praise Iceage enough, and Beyondless is a statement of how brilliant they really are. There is something about them that throws you back in time but also hurls you full pelt into the future. It’s a raucous record that takes pleasure in corrupting every single part of you.
Allow me to explain why this record is one of 2018’s finest moments.
Beyondless is a record that shows just how much they have grown, and in four records they have truly left a lasting impression. New Brigade was such a phenomenal record, and of course it can’t be replicated but the thing about Iceage is that they have no intention of creating the same sound over and over. For me, it is their ability to just mess with your mind completely which has me hooked. Elias is a hypnotising frontman who gives off hints of Nick Cave circa The Birthday Party. He’s not as loud as Nick was back then, but he’s got this drawl to his voice that is quite similar. It is moving, it is romantic and it is something you cannot get enough of. We need more singers like this. Unafraid to be this way and to just unleash hell on record and on stage. He’s backed by incredible musicians who can compete beautifully with his energy. It is like they all encourage each other to be louder, to sound more sinister and to really push themselves.
Under The Sun is a really strong example of how much they have evolved, and how in just four and a half minutes, they can make you feel as if you’re having an outer body experience. It’s one of those songs you’ll probably keep going back to, then we go right into the heart of the record on the song The Day The Music Dies. I love how Elias vocals sound exhausted- this isn’t a diss at all. I’d not bother writing about the record if I had anything bad to say. I mean it in a Julian Casablancas way, and we all know how exceptional he is. There is something in Iceage’s music that has a dreamy feel to it but also quite eerie. Part of you wants to allow yourself to escape with them, but the other part is totally freaked out about what you’re hearing.
It’s a gloriously smutty record that has so much soul and emotion to it. There are standout songs on the record, sure. But it’s hard to really pick them out because it’s such a brilliant record. I wish I could pick certain songs out for you to go on about, and why they are so great but honestly- listen to the record. Plead The Fifth is one of those songs that throw your emotions about and send you off into a whirl. I can’t get enough of this record, and it really does make the four-year wait for a new record totally worth it. Going back to Plead The Fifth real quick, it’s got a feel of The Passenger by Iggy Pop.
I think it is pretty fair to say that Elias is a poet. He’s beyond just a singer- he’s got something else, and his something else makes his way with words utterly divine and captivating. Iceage are a band I hope that in decades to come, are cited as being highly influential. The absolute urgency in Catch It is so magnificent, and the way Elias sings this song makes you cling on to every single word. Dan smashes the shit out of the drums on this one, and his fury is beautifully worked with Jakob and Johan unleashing a riot. The constant crashing sound leads up to the euphoric ending of the song. It becomes uncontrollable, and I’m pretty sure in their live shows that this will be the song that makes us all lose our minds. The song brings you down, then launches you up real high and catapults you off into the unknown. It’s over five minutes of greatness.
If you’re into making lists, then this record should probably be at the top. Play it loud at every single chance you get and go to one of their upcoming shows. I think they’re over in the UK in September.
Beyondless is a masterpiece and truly shows us all how fantastic Iceage are, but hey- we knew that anyway!