Iceage: Plowing Into the Field of Love 2x12"
Iceage's second LP felt like a somewhat more mature update on the unique sound of their first record, but on this new LP they've finally moved past the kind of ramshackle punk sound that characterized their first two releases and arrived at something totally different. You won't hear any of the barely-together, 1-2-1-2 hardcore drumming that previously formed the quirky backbone of their sound... instead, the whole band seems to be following vocalist Elias Bender RíŸnnenfelt, crafting a moody mix of tunes that actually give shape and subtlety to his powerful vocals rather than just smashing against them in an interesting way. I admit, I kind of miss their old sound (and maybe there are some shades of it in the Gun Club-ish "The Lord's Favorite"), but I'm pretty sure I'd also be bored if they did the same thing again. Instead, this is dense, provocative pop music that's cinematic in scope... not unlike those middle-era Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds LPs, after he'd worked all of the Birthday Party out of his sound and arrived at what he's now best known for. It's a long, dense, and at times a trying listen (especially if you like your music bouncy, fun, and dumb), but after just a couple of listens it strikes me as an LP that's well worth spending some time with.