I’ve had a theory. The reason that America produces better guitar bands than anyone else is because of it’s size. There’s enough people out there that it doesn’t matter how loud, misanthropic and ugly your sound is, there’ll be maybe a handful of kids in every town who happen to be into that music and you can exist and live quite happily crashing on floors and touring in a beat up van forever. Which is the way it should be.
The UK is just too small and everyone in a band knows someone else who knows someone else who got played by Zane Lowe and got signed by a major record label. It’s the reason Grime went really shit really quickly. As soon as one person has a hit all their peers think they should have a bit of that and what made their sound so special in the first place just becomes diluted to the point where you are Tinchy Stryder.
Iceage are 4 kids from Copenhagen who just released their debut album New Brigade (which in itself tells you a fair bit about the scope of ambition of the record). It’s a punk record but they’re a punk band in the same way that the Velvet Underground or PIL were punk bands, they have managed to come up with a sound entirely of their own in one of the most rigidly formulaic genres.
Listen to You’re Blessed or White Rune for starters. And as much as its supposed to all be about the music – which is nonsense – they happen to look insanely good, have the best band logo since Public Enemy and on this evidence have the craziest live show.
Their blog is a good place to start, unfortunately it looks like we’ll have to wait a while for them to be back in this country but everything tells me it won’t be long till they’re back here very soon. You can get their album here.