Show Review: Iceage w/ Lower at The EARL – June 9th
By the time Iceage released You’re Nothing earlier this year, their reputation as critical darlings spanned across the globe, proving the Copenhagen quartet had quite a lot to live up to in 2013. They did not disappoint; You’re Nothing is a half-hour of noisy punk let loose. What is most remarkable about their sophomore album is the palette of song structures and instruments they incorporate while never failing to barrage the listener with a wall of sound.
The last time I saw Iceage, they were walking nonchalantly off the stage at the Caledonia Lounge in Athens, GA while the feedback from their guitars rang through a room dank with sweat. On tour promoting their newest release, Iceage visited Georgia again, and this time around, they were headlining The Earl in Atlanta. I have seen my share of high-intensity punk bands lose their teeth in venues the size of The Earl, but then Iceage is not just any punk band. Once they took the stage in Atlanta, the crowd thickened, and right before they cut into “Ecstasy,” I saw a man fling himself through the air and land with a loud thud on a hard floor. This gesture was the most sincerely violent action that occurred in the mosh pit that night, which intrigued me. Then again, Iceage did not deliver roof-shaking blow after blow during their set. Here was a mature punk band moving from noise rock to art punk playing before a crowd that threatened to tear up the floorboards one minute and stood musingly the next.
After delivering a one-two punch with “Ecstasy” and “White Rune,” Iceage played cuts from both full-lengths, including the sludgy “You’re Nothing.” A dense siren of feedback punctuated the relative quiet between their songs, and nothing but Elias Rønnenfelt’s quick announcements alerted the audience for the next song. They funneled so much sound through the system that Rønnenfelt’s microphone started to give out, causing them to restart at least once. Perhaps The Earl just could not handle the band’s sonic output.
Suddenly, their drummer stopped playing and walked off the stage. The other members took notice and promptly exited. It was another fitting end to the fierce onslaught that Iceage wreaks. Quick, exasperated, and fiery, Iceage proved yet again to be a relentless musical force.