Album Review

An evolution, a refinement, a deft touch. Beyondless is a record of poetic beauty and sonic saturation.

Iceage - Beyondless

Danish outfit Iceage deliver their fourth studio album Beyondless and Musicology takes a track by track look at the record.

Bolting out of the gates, Hurrah with its driving bass lines and gritty punk riffs, bobs and weaves while vocalist Elias Bender Rønnenfelt chants “we can’t stop killing”. A pulsating track that sets the tone for the record with the sonic saturation that has become the hallmark of Iceage’s signature style.

From the opening horns section comprised of Kasper Tranberg (trumpet), Lars Greve (saxophones), Morten Jessen (trombone), Pain Killer has ‘Know Your Product’ by The Saints written all over it. If there was high-water mark of punk influence to draw upon, this is it. The dual vocals of Rønnenfelt and Sky Ferreira soften the underlying fever of Nielsen’s blistering drumming. An energising track with the sum far greater than its parts.

The scattered jangle of Under The Sun paints a picture of desolation and redemption. Striped back acoustic and slow-motion drumming gives way to a crescendo of strings as Rønnenfelt’s impassioned vocals mirror the lyrics of “push it up, push it up”.

Bounding with power chords and dirty bass The Day The Music Dies osculates, swaying back and forth as the horns and keys contribute to an escalating sound. There is a threshold here that the band seem to be on the verge of crossing but just lotter around the edge of unadulterated mayhem.

The fuzzed out bass line of Plead The Fifth forms the backbone of this intricate track. Articulate semi acoustic played gently as Rønnenfelt‘s poetic delivery cascades without pause or hesitation.

Lead single Catch It slugs it out with Rønnenfelt’s defeated vocals pleading to “make it real”. Bloodied and bruised the track staggers as it drudges through murky bass lines before spiralling into a vortex of reverb and bursts of horns as the lunacy takes hold.

Veering off into a country-esk vibe Thieves Like Us steps into the saloon, orders itself a whiskey and stumbles unapologetically as Rønnenfelt rants to whoever is listening. Ably paired with its piano accompaniment, the off course track only serves as an insight into the depth of Iceage and their creative prowess.

The marching beats of Take It All hold steady the ethereal orchestral arrangement. Framing Rønnenfelt's lyrical delivery and sharpening the focus of the underlying message that everyone shares some criminality.

Reflective Showtime acts as a self-assessment of the band themselves, recanting lines from reviews and judgements passed by critics. The sloppy horns and keys drunkenly performed in this track mirror the stupor of peer review pressure and subconscious influence on one’s own take of the performance craft.

The self-titled Beyondless dives deep into a bleak void. Perhaps the defining sound of the band and a fitting way to wind down the record. Dark bass lines, swirlingly reverb, a smattering of horns.

An evolution, a refinement, a deft touch is the culmination of Beyondless by Iceage. Subtleties that creep with surprising regularity, it is an album that reveals more of itself with every listen without losing the potency of first impressions.

Beyondless Out May 4th Via Remote Control Records