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You're Nothing *


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Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Elias Bender Ronnenfelt (vocals, guitar); Johan Suurballe Wieth (guitar); Dan Kjaer Nielsen (drums).
  • Audio Mixers: Iceage; Jens Benz.
  • Recording information: 05/2012.
  • Photographer: Tone Gellett Koksvik.
  • Wiry Danish punk revivalists Iceage made a beautiful noise on their 2011 debut, New Brigade, bringing the raw energy of early punk to their chaotic first set of songs. Their brilliant fury wasn't simply a rehash of the bands that influenced them like Wire or pre-Joy Division project Warsaw, but felt more like new life being breathed into the often by-the-numbers punk rock landscape. Where New Brigade was an exciting and furious reminder of how immediate and inspired punk could be, You're Nothing feels like the next logical step taken by a young band whose creative flow is constantly at light speed. Still rooted in the energetic punk and hardcore mania that defined their debut, You're Nothing shows a band that's matured rapidly, approaching more nuanced and sophisticated arrangements, lyrical themes, and ideas. That doesn't just mean the songs are slower, either. Standout tracks like "Everything Drifts" and "Wounded Hearts" maintain the band's urgency while growing more musically introspective. Wandering, searching guitar lines and pensive overall moods bring to mind the punk/college rock hybrid years of early SST bands like Hsker D or the heavy-hearted ire of early post-punk pioneers Embrace and Rites of Spring. The lightning-speed gallop of the drums and an overdriven wall of guitar noise push tracks like "It Might Hit First" more into the hardcore territory of the first record, but more sophisticated tracks like "Morals" with its glistening piano and even a neo-folk/post-industrial-leaning instrumental "Interlude" don't take away from the album's consistency. By the time the title track rolls around to close the album, Iceage have developed a record reaching out in many directions without straining to make any points. Hearing a young band find its voice like this makes for incredibly exciting music, possibly more exciting in practice than the bombast of the group's earliest material. ~ Fred Thomas
Professional Reviews
Rolling Stone (p.68) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "'Morals' breaks new ground for Iceage, with poignant piano under the guitars."

Billboard (p.39) - "[F]ull-throttle punk, stopping to catch its breath between dizzying blurs of rhythmic prowess and chaotic distortion."

Q (Magazine) (p.103) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "There's always something clever going on over the rhythmic chug..."
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