Iceage - You're Nothing (Cover Artwork)


Iceage: You're NothingYou're Nothing (2013)
Matador Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:

Contributed by: WeWillMakeYouCrawlWeWillMakeYouCrawl
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Iceage's You're Nothing is the kind of nihilistic, mid-winter record anyone even mildly into punk needs to hear at some point during the year. These Danish noise rockers sound bigger, noisier and more complex on You're Nothing in comparison to their 2011 debut. While that record earned them some att.
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Iceage's You're Nothing is the kind of nihilistic, mid-winter record anyone even mildly into punk needs to hear at some point during the year. These Danish noise rockers sound bigger, noisier and more complex on You're Nothing in comparison to their 2011 debut. While that record earned them some attention as post-punk revivalists of sorts, it was evidence of a style still in development. The band paid lots of homage to noise rock and even metal while keeping things rooted in the quick-paced power chord department and that produced a few great tracks, but pales overall as a record next to the more creative You're Nothing.

It seems Iceage's songwriting chops have improved over the past couple years. These songs feel like disparate ideas almost stitched together, changing tempos and time signatures without warning on songs like "Burning Hand." This apparent surplus of stellar riffs produces slightly longer songs that feel linear and multi-faceted. They played with this sort of writing on New Brigade, but with less assertiveness and attention to detail. In addition, You're Nothing comes off as more energetic, especially on the first side of the record where we have the whirring lament of "Coalition" and "In Haze," the drumming is frantic and the riffs are speedy. This is juxtaposed with the eponymous interlude and militaristic march of "Morals," which closes out the first half of the record with a building insistance–"Where's your morals?!"–turning the question over and over again before falling back into a snare-driven trudge.

Elias Rønnenfelt's vocals are noticeably more confident on this record, too. He's mixed higher and tries to cram a lot more lyrics into songs like "Coalition." Those lyrics ain't bad, either. Rønnenfelt slurs some pretty good lines for a guy who's not a native English speaker and though his youthful snarl is a cornerstone of the record, it's only once in a while that phrases like "These days so numb and faded" or "Nature's violence!" manage to break through the fray. You can feel the ennui in his delivery, though. The only song sung in his native tongue, "Rodfæstet" is a classic punk rock banger that stakes out its place as such without a single discernible line. A couple of the tracks on the second half do seem a little underwhelming compared to the strong opening side, though. "Wounded Hearts" and "It Might Hit First" sound more like something from New Brigade, which is okay but after the band's more ambitious side has made an appearance, these songs feel a little flat.

Fortunately, the record ends on the stronger "Awake" and excellent title track. Chords extended beyond the basic "power" formula help the band sound more enveloping without sacrificing too much melody. For all the catchy moments here, You're Nothing is hardly what you'd call accessible. The bass guitar is steeped in grimy fuzz that gives a thick quality to the record's low end while the guitars play off each other much more intricately than they did on New Brigade, slipping in and out of dissonance and harmony in a way that can be disorienting, especially given the pace. The effect can be confusing and disorienting, giving this music some real potency. We're often left to find our own way through the layers of guitar and distortion, forced to find our own grounding in the chaos. For all that could perhaps be said about this as a representation of information-saturated, A.D.D., post-capitalist culture I really think this album tackles its object at a micro level. "Coalition" and "Morals" are directed to a person, not people. It's not a grandiose statement about the world and humanity and you. You're nothing, dude. Remember?


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Punker613 (6 days ago)

Brilliant, anyone who can't see that is a moron. Great noise rock/punk album, best band going right now

fretty (February 26, 2013)

Listen to music you like and dont listen to music you dont like. Then don't talk.

overdefined (February 25, 2013)

How about I think this album sucks. Do I have to "see them live" to have an opinion about the album? Also, I've seen videos. Even worse than I expected.

Listen to it without your hype-blinders, then talk.

conblake (February 25, 2013)

You don't like this band? Watch them live. Then talk.

overdefined (February 24, 2013)

"I wish my first band had their sense of dynamics. Jesus."

What exactly is a "sense of dynamics?" Is that being able to tell that something is louder or softer or maybe even that it's starting soft and getting louder? That's not really a remarkable skill. Anyone that can hear at all can differentiate between levels of volume.

Or do you mean that they play well at different dynamics well and know how to shift between them for maximum impact? I don't think that's it, because all this shit is the exact same dynamic. It's all at 80% intensity.

Maybe you mean they hit different emotional peaks and have an interesting ebb and flow? That sounds ok, except that's not what "dynamics" means. Also, that's not really true because they pretty much always just sound like shit, but played in a "disaffected" manner.

Finally, I have trouble taking your post seriously. You're trying to sound really high-minded about what this band is doing. And I think it makes sense that you have to reach to find it. That's because it's not there. This band is a fucking joke. The emperor really has no clothes.

elliot (February 22, 2013)

I saw one video of a performance at Amoeba. Great energy, but shitty music and vocals. Guess which one wins out!

spadereef (February 20, 2013)

I wish my first band had their sense of dynamics. Jesus.

thisrespirator (February 20, 2013)

So I listened to this and it sucks. It sounds like everyones first band.

Russe11 (February 20, 2013)

exitflagger, what are you even talking about?

exitflagger (February 20, 2013)

Nazi humor is among the best kind of humor, and I say this as a huge fan of Jewish artists like Mike Leigh, Philip Roth, and Saul Bellow.

slowstupidhungry (February 20, 2013)

Fellatio posing as a review? Allegations of Nazism propelled by their meaningless "edgy imagery" that only managed to offend a few random internet people they evidently aren't actually racist against and probably wouldn't have given two shits about their shitty band anyway? Music that will leave your head forever once you turn it off? Sounds like a hipstercore classic. 9/10

spadereef (February 20, 2013)

I also enjoy Maverick, but that doesn't mean I don't kinda despise Mel Gibson.

mikexdude (February 20, 2013)

I heard if you rearrange the letters in "Iceage" it spells out "white power."

mattramone (February 19, 2013)

Listened to about a minute. Not worth it. Besides, aren't they all White Pride World Wide on their artwork or something?

thisrespirator (February 19, 2013)

I'm gonna give this a listen tonight, but I am skeptical that I can even enjoy it since the whole, ya know, Nazi thing.

spadereef (February 19, 2013)

If you don't like this record, may your jaded heart be ripped out by Jim Carrey and placed in a doggy bag.

oldpunkerforever (February 19, 2013)

Brilliant cd, bettter than I expected. Saw them live in bmore and they killed. To anyone knocking them, see em live-oldpunker-

scarysmurf (February 19, 2013)

I don't understand how this band is getting so much attention. Pitchfork is a helluva drug.

aaronrkc (February 19, 2013)

Great band, great record. Gotten better since their last one. Excited to see them in April.

saladfingers (February 19, 2013)

Racist too, apparently

mikexdude (February 19, 2013)


overdefined (February 19, 2013)

This band is awful.

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