Posts Tagged ‘iceage’

Top 10 Albums of 2011: 10-6

December 18th, 2011 | Features | 1 Comment

Ok, it’s finally time for me to make this list. It seems like I out-waited everyone…because this list is obviously the most important. 2011 was a good year for music – not as good as a phenomenal 2010, but still, pretty damn good, with some stone-cold classics for the ages. I changed this list a couple times cuz some albums were just a little better than others – some albums I liked more than other even though it seems as though they were objectively not-as-good – it was tough. But here’s what I’ve arrived at. This is 10-6, tomorrow or whenever I’ll post 5-1. Here they are.

10. Feist – Metals

Feist – A Commotion

It was a tight call between this album and Atlas Sounds‘ solid Parallax for the last spot on this list. Though my earlier post about this album lauded it as being better than The Reminder, I’ve since reversed my position because I feel like it doesn’t have as many hugely inspired moments as that album, though I still maintain it holds together a bit better. Unfortunately, the tracklisting tosses the three best songs – “A Commotion”, “The Circle Married The Line”, and “Bittersweet Melodies” – all together around the middle, so whenever I listen to it I feel like I just want to go straight there instead of starting from song one and playing it through; she should have spread those out more. It’s unfortunate, because there are plenty of other great songs on the album…like pretty much every other song on the album. At the end of the day, regardless of the tracklisting of the album, it doesn’t let down in terms of quality: Feist‘s singing and songwriting are as superb and star-worthy as ever. Which is why it beats out the competition to make the list.

9. M83 – Shut Up, We’re Dreaming

This is an example of an album that I’m not going to listen to much, but I can’t deny its brilliance. M83 outdid his already-quite-ambitious self with this double album that takes inspiration from dreams and beautiful fantasies. The lengthy affair never runs out of steam, while songs like “Intro” and “Splendor” break through to whole new realms of musical amazingness, the likes of which Anthony Gonzales has only shown potential for in the past. Despite the fact M83 is technically an electronic act, this album knows no genres or boundaries – only beauty.

8. St. Vincent – Strange Mercy

St. Vincent – Cruel

I always respected St. Vincent as a great songwriter and singer, but she was an artist I just didn’t really put into rotation much…until this album. The difference this time around is the emphasis placed on her guitar playing – as every review appears to have noted – but for those who haven’t heard the album, please don’t approach this expecting a lot of soloing and conventional histrionics, it’s so much more than that. I’m not even sure if there is one solo, really, on the album. Instead, the guitars often either provide some chutzpa to songs like “Northern Lights” by virtue of their sound and power, or, better yet, they dance around the melodies and work as accoutrement a la Television and The Strokes in songs like “Cruel” (my favourite), “Neutered Fruit”, and “Dilettante”. And she makes great use of effects pedals to get all kinds of great sounds of out them.

7. John Maus – We Must Become Pitiless Censors Of Ourselves

One of my favourite breakout acts of the year, though John Maus has been making music for a long time now and it just took the rest of us this long to notice it. Admittedly, I think it took him a while to make as good music as he does now, but I don’t really see a huge jump in quality between WMBPCOO and 2006’s Love Is Real. Then again, Love Is Real doesn’t have a standout as obvious as “Believer”, WMBPCOO‘s pop-perfect closer. Or the beautiful little “Hey Moon”, the intimate gem he borrowed (and barely changed at all) from Molly Nilsson.

The rest of the album works great as a thoughtful, and (surprisingly) enjoyable work heavily indebted to the 80s, though Maus apparently wasn’t trying to do an 80s thing. He seems a bit brilliant, a bit weird, but very interesting. Hopefully his next album won’t take too much time in the cooker.

6. Iceage – New Brigade

Iceage – Remember

Perhaps the most amazing thing about Iceage is that they make punk music that isn’t nostalgic or retro-minded – something very hard to find. It’s the punk music of 2011. Not because they use synths and Ableton or whatever – they don’t appear to care about the past, or future, or anything like that. These Danish teenagers just express their anger and frustration in whatever way that they do. And the noise they make is badass. New Brigade is a consistent and perfectly-recorded document of their work. Easily one of the most memorable and exhilarating albums of the year.

(Click here to see 5-1)


August 17th, 2011 | Features | 0 Comments

These guys are in town this week so I decided to go back their debut album – which I liked when I first heard it – and listen to it again. Second or third time around I found myself getting into it a lot more. The band of the week is…


Iceage are apparently a bunch of snotty teenagers from Copenhagen, Denmark. They play hard and fast and the lead singer sounds like a drunk brit from the late 70’s, early 80’s. Their music is very cool, and a little dark. After some blogs caught wind of their debut album New Brigade word started to spread about them and now they’re without a doubt the hottest thing happening in critically respected punk rock since Jay Reatard (RIP).

Lately I’ve been having those days where you’re like, “Why am I alive again?” I hit up the gym and I just want to hear the sound of a soul screaming. I need something that’s going to make my blood flow faster, my testosterone explode through the veins, but it needs to also kind of be like, “Fuck the world! GARRR!!!” So I’ve been listening to New Brigade a lot. I love it. It’s an awesome album and I love that classic drunk brit voice the lead singer sings in, it just makes everything sound even more fucked. My favourite song is still “Remember” (which I blogged about before) cuz it’s kind of poppy and I can actually maybe understand what he’s saying at one point which in my mind is the chorus: “(something something something)…These long and holy nights…Remember…These days…Forever…(something something something).” That’s kind of cool – what was the deal with these long and holy nights? Why are they worth remembering? Actually, you know who the singer kind of sounds like – Robert Smith from The Cure. Anyone? No?

So yeah. Iceage. Cool band. I’m going to try and go see them when they play tomorrow (Wednesday, August 17) at Parts and Labour here in Toronto.

May Mix

May 3rd, 2011 | The Mix | 0 Comments

Conservatives just swept into power with a majority government in Canada (somehow 40% is a majority…) and I am not happy. Harper prorogued government twice, destroyed Canada’s environmental record on the world stage, and gave the thumbs up to the civil rights abuses that went down at last year’s G20 in Toronto. And now we have four more years of that. Anyway…here are some of the best songs of the last month. Enjoy.

1. Bill Callahan – America

2. Archers – Door To All Marvels

3. John Maus – The Believer

4. LUM – I Am Alone

5. Snailhouse – Sentimental Gentleman

6. Young Governor and the Scuzz – Bedroom Eyes

7. Silver Dapple – Slip Switch

8. Iceage – Remember

9. Grain – Light Rain

10. Birdie Hilltop – The Ready Dance



April 16th, 2011 | Mp3 Posts | 1 Comment

Swedish Danish punk-rockers Iceage are getting acclaim from all kinds of sweet blogs. And they deserve it. Awesome punk rock band. The track below, “Remember”, is one of the most tuneful on their sick album New Brigade. It’s also the only song that sounds kind of post-punky, like maybe the lead singer was feeling a little sentimental one day…but then he just thrashed himself out of it.

Iceage – Remember