Track Review: Iceage – “Coalition”

[2013; Matador]

The engorged nihilism of Iceage’s debut album still rings out as jarringly as it did back in 2011. Though it would be hard to mistake “Coalition,” the sparkling teaser from their forthcoming album You’re Nothing, for the work of another band, they’ve shifted along the spectrum enough to warrant a double take. The lyrics still deal with the anxiety of young adulthood, but the song as a whole would sound too chirpy next to the like of “White Rune.” There are shades of the Libertines here, most notably in singer Elias Ronnenfeldt’s voice; he adopts smoother, almost British inflections that stand at odds with his ashen yelps on New Brigade. The production is sunnier, although the scrappy musicianship holds as little water as before. Muddy guitars sprint to the finish while the yawning drums crash away ostentatiously, bringing the whole thing to a close in the time it took you to read this. Iceage appear to be evolving, but they’re in no hurry.