Copenhagen’s Iceage trades in its gloom to make an art-punk masterpiece with Beyondless | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

Copenhagen’s Iceage trades in its gloom to make an art-punk masterpiece with Beyondless 

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click to enlarge Iceage


Steve Gullick

When your ragtag, noisy hardcore-meets-postpunk band has spent the better part of a decade as one of the most deservedly hyped rock groups in the world, which direction do you choose next? In the case of Copenhagen’s Iceage, you drop the aggression and gloom of your early work, start over, and create an art-punk masterpiece. On May’s Beyondless (Matador), Iceage lays out dense, layered tracks that pile crisscrossing guitars, horns, and strings on top of pushy, dark, knotty songs that highlight the group’s epic melodic sensibility. Some tunes on Beyondless hit like Lust for Life-era Iggy Pop, infusing a surprisingly glamorous opulence into the ever-present grimy postpunk energy. Others, such as the second single from the record, “Pain Killer”—which features backing vocals from pop star Sky Ferreira and a massive big-band horn section—swing for the cheap seats, conjuring an almost uplifting, triumphant majesty the band hasn’t ever touched before.   v

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