By Willem Thomas
Having once been hailed by Iggy Pop as “the only current punk band I can think of that sounds really dangerous,” meant as a compliment of the highest order, Denmark’s Iceage have somehow managed to retain that knife’s edge feeling of danger and excitement that has defined their records and live shows while still crafting their most approachable record yet.
Beyondless is the Copenhagen-based post-punk (post-post punk? Iceage continually defy the catchall genre categorization) band’s first release since 2014’s excellent Plowing Into the Field of Love, and their third with Matador and producer Nis Bysted. Well-paced, with arrangements and production that at times seem worlds away from their hardcore-leaning debut New Brigade, Beyondless takes the best of Love’s Americana-tinged, punk-blues experimentation, setting it against a lush, gothic backdrop, complete with buoyant strings and horns throughout.
Making for an enigmatic combination of Ian Curtis, a snarling Leonard Cohen, and Mick Jagger fronting the New York Dolls, Singer and frontman Elias Bender Rønnenfelt is at his dour, poetic best on Beyondless. While still covering the requisite darker themes and imagery found on previous releases, Rønnenfelt and co. have crafted what is essentially a hopeful, occasionally joyous sounding record. Experimenting heavily, without compromising what made them unique, and highly buzzed-about years ago, Beyondless is another step forward for Iceage that further cements their position as one of the most consistent, ambitious, and thought-provoking modern punk bands.Beyondless, Iceage, Matador Records