A horrible hack

Iceage

Plowing into the Field of Love

Year Released: 2014
Format: LP
Label: Matador
 
Reviewed by Emile Bojesen on Oct 13, 2014
Plowing into the Field of Love sounds, on the surface, like a record written by a very mature band. Even though it might not be quite as exciting and out of the blue as New Brigade was, it is a much more complex record than that and last year’s, still satisfyingly noisy, You’re Nothing. The album as a whole is much slower burning and therefore less immediately fulfilling. Also, despite there being a fair few reference points for the last few records, it really felt like they were bringing their own sound. I think you’d be hard pushed to say the same was true here. You can almost, song for song, draw a comparison to the band that influenced it. ‘The Lord’s Favourite’ is basically a straight up and almost undigested homage to Gun Club; ‘Abundant Living’ is probably the closest I’ve ever heard a band sound like The Pogues, apart from, well, The Pogues; ‘Stay’, is also the best example of the singer, Elias Rønnenfelt’s, Nick Cave impression, which is pulled out alongside a slow dirgey song that could be an outtake from any of the first ten Bad Seeds records. The list goes on. The thing is, they are all good songs and nice to listen to, if it wasn’t for the fact you could be just as easily satisfied by the band that influenced the track.

Iceage are a very talented band who are obviously exploring a spectrum of music both in terms of their listening and playing. For me, though, it might take a while longer before they digest all these influences and produce something both mature and exciting. At the moment this kind of poppy, post-punky sound is being explored in a much more interesting way - and less shackled to its influences - by bands like The Sans Pareil, Protomartyr and Cosmic Thoughts.


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