Upon delving into New Brigade, one feels a certain familiarity; Iceage’s reverb-drenched post-punk is nothing new, but it’s still completely fresh and honest. Either these recent high school graduates spent the majority of their teen years in a dingy basement listening to one of their vagrant uncles’ pristine collection of punk rock vinyl or, more likely, the four boys were frozen in ice, mid-song, in the early ’80s during a particularly bad Danish winter, only to be thawed out 30 years later.
Often grouped with contemporary punk prodigies like Fucked Up and No Age, Iceage puts a similar slant on an old idea. They break punk back down to its essence and then infuse it with fresh energy and conviction. Their dark, raw and confrontational style roots itself somewhere in punk’s adolescence, sometime after the death of Joy Division and the lingering aftermath of hardcore’s initial furious burst. However, there are hints of influence spanning punk’s history interwoven throughout the entire record. The songs are full of abrupt time changes and disjointed breaks, but the album also hangs on to distorted melodies and hints of pop. Contradictions are carefully balanced to make a distinct, original and vital record devised by vigorous young men with old punk souls.