Bringing back the same carefree energy with a new redefined tone
Iceage races full steam ahead into their fifth studio album titled Seek Selter. A rejuvenated and defined new tone fills this record while still bringing along their carefree alt-punk sound Iceage is formally known for. Each song is jam-packed with groovy vibes as the band seems to have rebuilt the quality of the way they play, adding an upbeat catchy nature with strong instrumentalism to the record.
Forged together in Copenhagen, Denmark, the band, all roughly 17 years old in 2008, came together and created Iceage. The group is formally made up of Johan Surrballe Wieth, Dan Kjær Nielsen, Elias Bender Rønnenfelt, Jakob Tvilling Pless and Casper Morilla. Immediately, they were signed to Escho, which allowed them to release their first extended play in 2009. After the group was then signed to a Danish independent publisher, Tambourhinoceros, and then landed Dais Records in the U.S. and What’s Your Rupture?. After joining several labels, Iceage released their debut album New Brigade in 2011. Seek Shelter comes in as the group’s fifth record following their 2018 Beyondless.
The first single off the record, “Vendetta,” kicks off with a driving congo drum beat, then quickly joined by a hopping guitar. The vibing strut in this song makes it a modern-day “Stayin’ Alive,” so beware of the rising need to walk down the road like it’s a catwalk while listening to this song. As the instrumentation is groovin’, the flat unphased tone of the vocals it’s the perfect juxtaposition to the music. “Vendetta” is a beautiful blend of alternative, funk and punk rock, all capsuled in one glorious song.
The second single, “Gold City,” tonally takes the album in a different direction from what “Vendetta” presented. Starting off the song with a folk-esque style harmonica, it then turns into a redefined area rock song taking on a very Springsteen tone, but with a punk flavor. “Gold City” is a raging new-age anthem song filled with strong emotion that seems to be alluding to the frozen state of the world within the current pandemic.
“Drink Rain,” though maybe a ballad off the record, still carries an upbeat finger-snapping quality. The twangy acoustic-picked melody, in the beginning, has an old-school crooner element that drives the mind to search for that one song that sounds so familiar. And once again, though the vocals are derived from punk roots, unlike “Vendetta,” which is very Springsteen, the vocals of this song are closer to that resemble classic crooners but again with a punk flavor.
Closing out the album, “The Holding Hand” is a five-minute droning song filled with a wide range of elements and sounds that pop and chime from ear to ear. The song again takes the tone of the album in a different direction. Now ranging more on a drone-style experimental rock that for most of the song loses the elements of punk but still keeping the anthem/area rock sound. Vocally it is a bit tough to get through the first time around. With the long-drawn-out notes that carry no vibrato, they feel too stagnate. Because the long-held notes are not broken up with any vocal coloring, they fall quite flat. At first, it is a bit unpleasant, but after a few listens, it begins to all work and comes together.
Iceage brought back their familiar powerhouse punk rock styles, but this time they deliver with new elements that fill this album with songs each in their own world. Seek Shelter is the modern era arena/anthem rock album with a pleasant dose of punk.