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Iceage|Seek Shelter

Seek Shelter

Iceage

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On their fifth album, Iceage continue their metamorphosis into poetic harbingers with a flair for the theatrical, leaving their scrappy beginnings firmly behind for better or worse. As always, there is a sense of urgency to the record, with the group even veering into Brit-pop bombast, like Oasis reimagined for red wine-guzzling literary fanatics. Elias Bender Rønnenfelt's signature drawl only further positions him as a prophet of sleaze, and the band remain as capable as ever, but it's hard to escape the feeling their rougher edges have been refined, as some tracks glide by a little too smoothly to become the kind of earworms they have crafted in the past. Something that decidedly hasn't changed is their propensity for explosive openers, like "Shelter Song" and its massive chorus that manages to hit like a truck; even at midtempo, the Wall of Sound and soaring backing vocals are staggering. Despite a brief change of pace in the beautified "Love Kills Slowly," the energy travels right through to centerpiece "Vendetta." The track is all swagger -- it comes out swinging like something in between Happy Mondays and Kasabian, running the risk of becoming stadium-built lad rock, and only avoids such damning praise by virtue of Rønnenfelt's natural attitude. It is followed by a strange left turn in "Drink Rain," which channels Jacques Brel, and as admirable an influence as he may be, the song just doesn't land correctly, serving only as a distraction. The closing numbers pick up the slack, with "Gold City" standing out as a highlight. That's until the finale, "The Holding Hand," which proves Iceage still know how to end things on a high note. It's a fantastic feat of songwriting; dripping in drama, it manages to squeeze angst out of tension rather than raucous energy, coiling itself around subtlety and then pulling taut in the closing moments before breaking down completely. Ultimately, this record is a triumph for the band, born out of strange times, and although it may not be their best, their blend of bitter and sweet still rings true. Iceage's rugged roots may be gone, and there may be fewer thorns, but Seek Shelter is still a rose by any other name.
© Liam Martin /TiVo

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Seek Shelter

Iceage

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1
Shelter Song
00:05:28

Shawn Everett, MixingEngineer - Sonic Boom, Producer - Elias Bender Rønnenfelt, Composer - Iceage, Composer, Producer, MainArtist - Emil Thomsen, MasteringEngineer - Nis Bysted, Producer - Crunchy Tunes (BIEM/NCB), MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Mexican Summer LLC (P) 2021 Mexican Summer LLC

2
High & Hurt
00:04:08

Shawn Everett, MixingEngineer - Sonic Boom, Producer - Elias Bender Rønnenfelt, Composer - Iceage, Composer, Producer, MainArtist - Emil Thomsen, MasteringEngineer - Nis Bysted, Producer - Crunchy Tunes (BIEM/NCB), MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Mexican Summer LLC (P) 2021 Mexican Summer LLC

3
Love Kills Slowly
00:04:09

Shawn Everett, MixingEngineer - Sonic Boom, Producer - Elias Bender Rønnenfelt, Composer - Iceage, Composer, Producer, MainArtist - Emil Thomsen, MasteringEngineer - Nis Bysted, Producer - Crunchy Tunes (BIEM/NCB), MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Mexican Summer LLC (P) 2021 Mexican Summer LLC

4
Vendetta Explicit
00:05:13

Shawn Everett, MixingEngineer - Sonic Boom, Producer - Elias Bender Rønnenfelt, Composer - Iceage, Composer, Producer, MainArtist - Emil Thomsen, MasteringEngineer - Nis Bysted, Producer - Crunchy Tunes (BIEM/NCB), MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Mexican Summer LLC (P) 2021 Mexican Summer LLC

5
Drink Rain
00:03:28

Shawn Everett, MixingEngineer - Sonic Boom, Producer - Elias Bender Rønnenfelt, Composer - Iceage, Composer, Producer, MainArtist - Emil Thomsen, MasteringEngineer - Nis Bysted, Producer - Crunchy Tunes (BIEM/NCB), MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Mexican Summer LLC (P) 2021 Mexican Summer LLC

6
Gold City
00:04:13

Shawn Everett, MixingEngineer - Sonic Boom, Producer - Elias Bender Rønnenfelt, Composer - Iceage, Composer, Producer, MainArtist - Emil Thomsen, MasteringEngineer - Nis Bysted, Producer - Crunchy Tunes (BIEM/NCB), MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Mexican Summer LLC (P) 2021 Mexican Summer LLC

7
Dear Saint Cecilia
00:04:50

Shawn Everett, MixingEngineer - Sonic Boom, Producer - Elias Bender Rønnenfelt, Composer - Iceage, Composer, Producer, MainArtist - Emil Thomsen, MasteringEngineer - Nis Bysted, Producer - Crunchy Tunes (BIEM/NCB), MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Mexican Summer LLC (P) 2021 Mexican Summer LLC

8
The Wider Powder Blue
00:04:25

Shawn Everett, MixingEngineer - Sonic Boom, Producer - Elias Bender Rønnenfelt, Composer - Iceage, Composer, Producer, MainArtist - Emil Thomsen, MasteringEngineer - Nis Bysted, Producer - Crunchy Tunes (BIEM/NCB), MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Mexican Summer LLC (P) 2021 Mexican Summer LLC

9
The Holding Hand
00:05:26

Sonic Boom, Producer - Elias Bender Rønnenfelt, Composer - Iceage, Composer, Producer, MainArtist - Nis Bysted, Producer - Crunchy Tunes (BIEM/NCB), MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Mexican Summer LLC (P) 2021 Mexican Summer LLC

Album Description

On their fifth album, Iceage continue their metamorphosis into poetic harbingers with a flair for the theatrical, leaving their scrappy beginnings firmly behind for better or worse. As always, there is a sense of urgency to the record, with the group even veering into Brit-pop bombast, like Oasis reimagined for red wine-guzzling literary fanatics. Elias Bender Rønnenfelt's signature drawl only further positions him as a prophet of sleaze, and the band remain as capable as ever, but it's hard to escape the feeling their rougher edges have been refined, as some tracks glide by a little too smoothly to become the kind of earworms they have crafted in the past. Something that decidedly hasn't changed is their propensity for explosive openers, like "Shelter Song" and its massive chorus that manages to hit like a truck; even at midtempo, the Wall of Sound and soaring backing vocals are staggering. Despite a brief change of pace in the beautified "Love Kills Slowly," the energy travels right through to centerpiece "Vendetta." The track is all swagger -- it comes out swinging like something in between Happy Mondays and Kasabian, running the risk of becoming stadium-built lad rock, and only avoids such damning praise by virtue of Rønnenfelt's natural attitude. It is followed by a strange left turn in "Drink Rain," which channels Jacques Brel, and as admirable an influence as he may be, the song just doesn't land correctly, serving only as a distraction. The closing numbers pick up the slack, with "Gold City" standing out as a highlight. That's until the finale, "The Holding Hand," which proves Iceage still know how to end things on a high note. It's a fantastic feat of songwriting; dripping in drama, it manages to squeeze angst out of tension rather than raucous energy, coiling itself around subtlety and then pulling taut in the closing moments before breaking down completely. Ultimately, this record is a triumph for the band, born out of strange times, and although it may not be their best, their blend of bitter and sweet still rings true. Iceage's rugged roots may be gone, and there may be fewer thorns, but Seek Shelter is still a rose by any other name.
© Liam Martin /TiVo

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