Who would guess that it would take a group of Danish teenagers to reinvigorate punk? For their debut, New Brigade, Iceage come furiously out of the gate, combining the bare-bones art punk popularized by Wire and Warsaw in the '70s with an '80s hardcore punk spirit. The songs on New Brigade are excellent -- quick and succinct blasts that never last longer than three minutes -- as the jagged guitar parts of Johan and Elias tear along in front of the ragged rhythm section attack of Dan and Jakob. "Total Drench," "Collapse," and "Count Me In" practically fall apart in reckless abandon, slow down for a short breather, and then, with a four-count drumstick click, whip back into a wild fit. Because Iceage's material is recorded raw, and devoid of traditional verse/chorus structures, hooks are often hard to locate amidst the fractured structures and dissonant chords, but they exist. One of Iceage's best tricks is their ability to turn atonal tension into a melody, especially when Elias alternates from talk-singing lazily to shouting passionately in "Broken Bone" and "You're Blessed." Sure, Iceage's debut is under 25 minutes long, but the short running time makes it all the more powerful. New Brigade is charmingly underdeveloped, slapdash, and direct -- in other words, absolutely thrilling.
|Label:||What's Your Rupture|