Plowing into the Field of Love

Iceage, 2014

Talking about Iceage evokes a similar feeling I sometimes get at shows, when I look around and feel I'm twice the age of everyone there. I feel as if the band would be vaguely annoyed some old dude was following their career. It doesn't help there was such a hype-storm around their debut. Intrinsically I wanted to keep them at arms' length. Maybe it was those trepidations, but I seem to have an inverse reaction to their third album, compared to the world at large.

Where they were tapping into a rich history of hardcore on their first outings, Plowing into the Fields of Love felt like they were taking it somewhere. Most people were put off by the lack of pure adrenal propulsion on Field of Love, but by taking their foot off the accelerator a bit, Iceage have turned Plowing into an unrelentingly bleak and excoriating album. It reminds me of Joy Division, without sounding like they are trying to impersonate them (unlike Interpol, who sounded like they'd only ever heard JD's greatest hits). Here, Iceage is all ugly desperation that, when presented in such an unflinching way, has it's own sort of beauty.