by Mike Ramos
on Thu, Mar 21, 2013 at 10:02 AM
I'm an avid listener of rap and hiphop in both my personal life and in a "professional" (ha-ha, right?) capacity, not only as a contributor to this fine newspaper's music section, but as a regular programming assistant and sometimes full-blown DJ/host for KEXP's Street Sounds. And, just like any fan of the genre, I place a special value on finding a great, forward-thinking, explicitly non-rap album to enjoy every once in a while. I thought I had found my very first of 2013 when a friend forwarded me You're Nothing, Copenhagen quartet Iceage's second record.
Hard and sharp but still youthfully chaotic, the experimental punk sound grabbed me from the start. The quartet's new album shows clear progress from their 2011 debut, New Brigade—taking more risks by venturing into no-wavy major-key progressions (see the driving opener, "Ecstasy"), hints of pop melodies (the Thin Lizzy–esque "Rodfæstet"), and even a light power ballad ("Morals"), while remaining firmly grounded in their fast and loud musical roots. I thought I had found a new favorite rock band, and planned on attending their March 21 show at Barboza. That is, until I was alerted to some serious allegations leveled against them, when all the band's alleged racist, fascist, and white-supremacist glory was brought up on music criticism website/think tank Collapse Board.