ICEAGE: Beyondless.

25 05 2018

iceage_beyondless

 

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!





THE COURETTES.

21 07 2015

This afternoon on my lunch break, I headed 5 minutes down the road into Camden Market. I went to my favourite record stall. It’s the home to some of the weirdest sounds I’ve ever heard. Sadly I’m too poor to buy everything (I got a record by The Gruesomes there and felt like I had won the lottery.) I’ve bought many records from their based on the artwork on the records. I do this frequently, and sometimes I know exactly what I’m looking for. Today however, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted. Part of me wanting PJ Harvey, the other was going for the Melvins. Sadly they had nothing by Sleep which I was quite sad about, but what I picked up made up for the void.

I picked up The Courettes because I loved the description under the drummer, it reads: “Loud as hell drums.” That’s EXACTLY what I was looking for. Only one copy, so I clung onto it for a while before settling. As I paid for it me and the guy who works there was telling me a bit about the band. The more he told me, the more I was falling in love with a band I hadn’t heard yet. Fast forward finishing work and going to the gym, I come home and I listen to The Courettes.

The Courettes are a mighty fine duo who are for those who lust after obscure and off the wall sounds. This duo is so powerful and brilliant, they make you want to start something like this yourself. They come from Brazil/Denmark but they sound like a typical American Garage Rock/Punk band. That’s what is so beautiful about them, you think you know something about them but you really don’t. They are an irresistible mystery that you can’t get enough of.

As I turn up the volume more and more, I start hearing all this lucid sounds dripping in and out. It is one of the finest releases of the year, and will heartbreakingly so be underrated. However those that get their ears and mitts onto this record will know just how excellent it is. It is for the psychotic, the freaks, the weirdos, the ones who will not ever settle. It is fast, rebellious and music at its finest.

Sometimes when you accidentally find a band, they end up being one you truly treasure because maybe you associate them with someone or maybe you have a cool story about how you found them. Regardless of your reasons, how you got there and why you stuck with it just stays with you. You develop this deeply passionate admiration for the band, and all you want to do is waste your days listening to them. The Courettes are a duo that make a delightful noise that immediately hooks you. The vocals are raw, the guitar will blow your brains out and yes, the drums are loud as hell. Loud as hell and heaven sent.

There’s a riot going on in The Courettes music, don’t fight against it. Stick with them and be equally as loud. They’re playing a few shows in the UK, including The Fiddlers Elbow on Friday night as part of the Weirdsville night. This duo for me, have an ideal sound. The sound that’s in many bands I cherish and adore. The bands I constantly listen to.

Their debut record, Here Are The Courettes is out now. You can listen/buy the record here:http://thecourettes.bandcamp.com/album/here-are-the-courettes

Sooner or later this band will corrupt your soul and take over your record collection, just go with it. They’ve got a real wild sound and style that you simply cannot get enough of.





GÄY.

26 02 2014

If a band or singer can leave me in a state of confusion, completely unaware of what is happening; then there’s a good chance I’ll probably love them. Conventional and typical is for those who look for nothing. I know for the most part good music and the like can smack you right in the face, and that’s always nice. There’s a band from a small town in Denmark ( to be exact) who are nothing short of strange and wonderful. I know how shit it can be to grow up in a tiny shitty place. Never go to the Isle of Man kids, not unless you want your soul ripped out from you.

So, Gäy (formerly known as No Mans Band) are a mighty fine band with songs to dance to. For now, we’ll say The Third Is The One to move your stuff about to the most. I don’t know how you’re supposed to move to it, just flail yourself about. As if you’re calling out for help. Don’t yell help though, that would be foolish. Their sound is ridiculous. They sound like nothing else I’ve heard in a long time. They’ve got the strangeness of Talking Heads and the rawness of say, The Cramps. I’m not comparing them to those bands or to anyone else. As far as I know the boys are pretty young, but that doesn’t come across in their music. Considering they are about to put out their debut 7″ on Zoo Music, they sound like they’ve been doing this for decades.

Their sound is pretty much what I’m into. It’s all over the place; a chaotic and distinctive sound. A lot of noise, a lot of passion and more gutsy than anything else around. I’m pretty sure there are people who will have some issues with the name of the band, but it’s not like they are called “WE HATE GAYS” or something equally vile. The only issue I have with people using the word “gay” in a negative way is when people call something bad “gay.” Use another word, and if you’re totally stupid pick up a thesaurus and look up other words for “bad.” It’s not really hard. Gäy are an excellent band with a sound that makes you feel like you’ve gone back in time and hit 2014 as if this was supposed to be the sound of this time. Does that make sense? I don’t know.

The boys will making their UK debut at The Shackwell Arms on the 16th March. Anyone want to be my date?

The 7″ of their new single, Blue Blue Heart is out on Zoo Music on 3rd March from places like Rough Trade and Piccadilly Records. Buy a copy, play it to death.

You can listen to their jaunty tracks right here: https://soundcloud.com/nomansband

And you can also play the phenomenal Blue Blue Heart here: https://soundcloud.com/zoo-music/blue-blue-heart