By Dean Essner
Danish-punk band Iceage’s sophomore LP You’re Nothing is an absolute bruiser, 26 minutes of ferocious, nihilistic rock and roll spread out of over 12 tracks. But for frontman Elias Bender Rønnenfelt, the record is not the same exercise in unrelenting frustration that most people seem to think it is.
“A lot of people misinterpret [the music],” said Rønnenfelt. “They hear loud guitars, fast drumming or shouted vocals and they think it’s only about anger and violence. I think more than anything we’re trying to make something that’s beautiful or romantic.”
Sonically, You’re Nothing is a maturer take on New Brigade’s brash, noise punk formula. It’s more studio smooth, while still possessing that same cacophonous wall of sound. Standout cut “Morals” even shows the band adding to its instrumental toolbox by way of a reverb-tinged piano. It’s all a push toward further experimentation, says Rønnenfelt, who keeps a tight-lip when talking about future musical directions.
“There’s more piano-based stuff coming,” he said. “But I guess you’ll just have to wait and see.”
When the band pulls into D.C. tonight to play the Rock and Roll Hotel and Brooklyn tomorrow to play Music Hall of Williamsburg, they’ll be fresh off the heels of some unfortunate tour drama. Opening act Lower’s tour van broke down and they were forced to miss their last few shows while in Florida. But if Rønnenfelt is truly committed to finding beauty in brooding places, then any turmoil flung his way should make for a better, more exciting concert.