Let’s resist the urge to make jokes about the weather. We’re behaving ourselves here. But let the record show that Iceage have been described as an ‘oncoming storm’, their new album is called Seek Shelter, and it features a track titled ‘Drink Rain’. Right? Moving on.
Seek Shelter is drawn from Elias Bender Rønnenfelt’s journals, and explores romance and salvation, pain and poetry and deities. Lyrically, Rønnenfelt gets to the heart of the matter with a clarity that becomes a theme; given that this time the band worked with Sonic Boom of Spacemen 3 to produce, it wouldn’t be surprising to find more psychedelia than usual on Seek Shelter, but they’ve gone the other way. The band have instead leaned into classic song structure, meaning the album is often strikingly reminiscent of decades past. There are flickers of Be Here Now-era Oasis, thankfully minus the cokey excess – ‘Dear Saint Cecilia’ brings to mind ‘It’s Getting Better (Man!!)’ by way of The Saints. Meanwhile, ‘Drink Rain’ has the swagger of a jazz standard, its intro a close cousin of the classic ‘All of Me’, while album highlight ‘Vendetta’ is cyclical and bluesy, building a dark portrait of violence, capitalism, drugs and grudges.
With each new album, Iceage suggest that they are pushing their boundaries farther than before. Is Seek Shelter their most technically innovative record? No. But is there reinvention here? Of a sort. The boundaries of genre don’t really matter if the record holds up, and it does. Iceage may be seeking shelter, but they aren’t locking down.