Even with my previous musings on the Misfits, the seminal punk outfit continues to teach me greater musical truths. Anyone who truly loves punk music, even if you prefer The Clash, The Ramones, or some other collective to Danzig and company, can attest to the perpetual disappointment that every great punk act has either a.) long since had their time in the sun or b.) are just trying to reignite the fires of punk yore. For Danish teen punks Iceage, their time is now thanks to a dedication to the past and unwavering curiosity.
Old-school punk devotees at their core, they still maintain the aesthetics and techniques of their modern counterparts, as is especially evident with “White Rune”. Here, that initial chaos and noise that undoubtedly drew many of us to punk is alive and well; the song exudes a sense of abandonment, and fury is doled out in micro-sized bits of anarchic goodness. However, the lads have added in a layer of Euro-friendly synths and noise to accompany the maelstrom. Gone is the trademark distortion and feedback, replaced with chunks of slightly refined effects.
And the rest of the album sees the group continue to rip from the history of punk to make something decidedly fresh. Whether it’s the amped-up, start-and-stop blast of muddled rock energy that is “Rotting Heights” or “Count Me In”, a lightning-quick cut of less than 90 seconds with a structure so intricately compiled it belies its most minimal of lengths, these kids know enough about punk to actually make it fun again.
Even with the sheer power and immediate connectedness this LP will stir up in punk fans young and old, there’s no way to tell if their sound is sustainable, especially when compared to more established acts of the scene. But like a good punk will always tell ya, who gives a shit about the future?