Iceage - To The Comrades / Jackie [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Iceage

Iceage: To The Comrades / Jackie [7-inch]

To The Comrades / Jackie [7-inch] (2013)

Matador


3.5
Iceage earned a lot of praise in 2013 with You're Nothing, an intriguingly dense, muddled, but quick and mostly aggressive collection of Wayback Machine post-punk. It's hard to tell how deep or intentional their love for the genre goes–they're just so goddamn young and seemingly intentionally ...

Iceage earned a lot of praise in 2013 with You're Nothing, an intriguingly dense, muddled, but quick and mostly aggressive collection of Wayback Machine post-punk. It's hard to tell how deep or intentional their love for the genre goes–they're just so goddamn young and seemingly intentionally obtuse toward the press, that few would be surprised if their music was a happy accident, or even just a put-on. But then again, does it matter when the songs are this layered and interesting? To The Comrades / Jackie builds on the success of You're Nothing, while perhaps offering a hint of where Iceage might go next.

Turns out, where Iceage might go next is a place slightly more accessible. "To The Comrades," a cover of a song originally by Bahumutsi Drama Group, begins with austere piano keys, but swiftly segues into quick drumming (and quicker cymbal hits), intentionally ugly and memorable guitars and Elias R√łnnenfelt's slurred snarl. At points, he's reminiscent of a more gutteral Paul Simonon, and the entire song itself has something of a Clash feel, if the Clash were maybe a little less triumphant and a little more downtrodden.

On the b-side, the band's take on Sinead O'Connor's "Jackie" is slower and a bit more melodramatic. The drums roll instead of punch, the guitars stay in the distance instead of reigning at the forefront, and R√łnnenfelt sounds much more unhinged and vulnerable. The piano creeps back in toward the end for an extra layer of ominousness, as the vocalist howls My Jackie O! over and over again as the drums slowly, but loudly disintegrate in the background. The end result is chillingly effective, and could serve as a harbinger for things to come. A lot of these hype bands seem to lose steam quickly, but Iceage may just have enough ideas to sustain a respectable career. Time will tell.