With their brutally addictive punk rock, Iceage have waged a war of aggression if I've ever heard one. The Copenhagen four-piece are a bizarre sensation in their home country, and have been referred to as "teenage bullies full of anger and anxiety," according to a headline from a major Danish newspaper. Looking at the gruesome photos on their blog of young fans, referred to as "victims," and with gashes on their foreheads and blood-stained teeth in the wake of a typical Iceage show, you'd be surprised if they weren't the poster children for a violent cult of youth.
But it would be tragic to reduce Iceage to a bunch of maladjusted teens with guitars. Resident hardcore specialist Noel Gardner at The Quietus is calling New Brigade "one of the best punk records in years," and you can hear it. Iceage speak to a variety of the genre's fans. Visceral, dissonant tracks like "White Rune," "Rotting Heights," and "New Brigade" arrest diehard hardcore kids with the band's chaotic and nihilistic side, while "Eyes" and "Total Drench" woo armchair punks on the prowl for something new. Even casual listeners can be carressed into submission with the melodic yet abrasive pop heard in "Collapse," "Broken Bone," and "You're Blessed." The songs on New Brigade are played with the same high-octane energy that's heard on earlier albums from modern punk leaders Fucked Up and No Age, and like them, Iceage have the makings of greatness.