Iceage 

New Brigade

The irony of punk rock—a music founded on the subversion of convention—is that since 1985 it's hard to come up with a new sound. There is hardcore and there is pop, and pretty much every variation within the genre has been some ratio of the two. One way to address this dilemma is with noise, which solves the problem of new sound the way a national park solves the problem of new food. It's definitely out there, even if it's not exactly a meal.

click to enlarge Arts_Noise4-1.jpg

Iceage's New Brigade is a place where sounds run free. They resolve themselves into songs in exhilarating bursts, as with "Collaps" and "White Rune." In these moments the Danish quartet sounds like a cross between Wire and Avail, forging unity from dissonance with moving sincerity. At other moments New Brigade uses the guitar less as instrument than act, evoking fierce energy without a melody to channel it. These drifts of noise will please the Fugazi purists even if they refuse to go anywhere. Punk rock is a form like any other, and part of that form is formlessness. Fortunately for Iceage, it's not so important to go somewhere as it is to just go.

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