Iceage Plowing Into the Field of Love
Iceage has thawed out. That’s sure to be a common reaction from fans hearing the Danish punk quartet’s strikingly less frenetic third album for the first time. Stick with Plowing Into the Field of Love, however, and you might discover a new favorite Iceage, the one maturing from manipulators of sound to masters of song. The boys-turned-men—singer Elias Bender Rønnenfelt, for example, has aged from 18 to 21 since debut LP New Brigade came out—have clearly done some quality listening lately; Plowing variously recalls the Mekons’ shambolic twang (“The Lord’s Favorite,” “Abundant Living”), Sonic Youth’s clangy noise (“Forever,” “Simony”) and even The Cure’s epic gloom (“On My Fingers,” “Stay”). And Rønnenfelt’s tortured howl—mixed so you can make out every word over an instrumental swirl speckled with trumpet, viola, mandolin and piano—pushes to points previously untouched. When it morphs into something like a croon on standout late-record ballads “Against the Moon” and the title track, it feels like Iceage might just be heating up.