Few bands seek to change with each album. While many bands evolve over time, the amount that actually mix things up and head into different directions is a relatively small number. Over the years we’ve seen Danish band Iceage evolve but they’ve also sought out changes in sound. On their new album Seek Shelter they definitely extend far beyond what they’re known for while keeping their core sound together. The end result is a release full of bold tones and varied arrangements that takes them into a new direction.
The opener “Shelter Song” in many ways catalogs the band’s ascension in terms of sound. Embarking into a void of bluesy gospel, the song serves as the perfect opener for what’s to come. Followed by the funky notes of “High & Hurt” the band steers the ship closer to the rocks without destroying the hull of the vessel. The careening guitars that play above the thunderous drums offer refuge within the hearty rock based sound. Here the band takes what you know of them and adds to the mystery of their sound. The driving rock tones that cut within lend themselves to showcasing the band’s masterful arrangements. This occurs again on the expansive sounds of “vendetta” where the band ushers in a tonal quality that has the feel of music by Shaun Ryder’s Black Grape. That reverend based sound where the shook drive behind the melodic guitars cuts into a sound that becomes its own gospel for the masses.
Where the band continues to strive is taking on new ways to keep you guessing. The album sounds like Iceage, yet they tread new paths within every song. For “Gold City” they almost embrace the sound of Afghan Wigs with a seasoned and soulful tone. On “The Wider Powder Blue” they embrace delicate arrangements to embrace a softer side complete with melodic touches. Though underneath they continue to route themselves into a mix of their past and the present. However it works and keeps the energy high when the band heads into more familiar territory. And while you can’t help but love the closer “The Holding Hand” for its new instrumentation that offers an almost dirge of angelic vocals, the favorite comes on “Dear Saint Cecilia.” Here the band blends their rock leanings with southern rock progressions. The driving sound takes you back to the band’s earlier years without retreading the same old same old. The overwhelming drums, the sneer of the vocals and the attitude of the guitar work so well together. This is Iceage at their best, delivering attitude heavy rock with little additions between the band and their music.
Seek Shelter is available to purchase from Mexican Summer on various formats. It can also be purchased in all digital music stores or streamed on all streaming sites. Iceage will be on tour beginning May 14 at Forbraendingen in Albertslund, Denmark until March 31, 2022 at Electric Ballroom in London, UK. Their complete tour schedule is accessible here.
Image Credits: Photo by Fryd Frydendahl.