This is an album that I really didn’t care to review. I heard New Brigade, Iceage’s debut album, and found it boring. I listened to “Ecstasy” when this album first leaked, and I found it boring. But the Pitchfork hype machine cannot be stopped, and so I decided to see if this album was an improvement on what I’d heard in the past. It was, but not by much.
I’ve seen a few people saying that this album represents a more mature effort from the band. Not only is it an extremely cliché statement, but I don’t really see its relevance here. Was New Brigade more immature than I remember? Because You’re Nothing isn’t exactly revolutionizing the punk scene. It’s 28-minutes of in-your-face hardcore, and then it’s over. The tracks are enjoyable if you like punk (like me), but they don’t really stand out from one another.
So where is this hype coming from? Well, the whole band was 17-years-old when it formed in 2008, so that likely was part of it. Elias Bender Rønnenfelt and his voice seem to be a point of controversy between fans and detractors (I don’t mind it, he sounds a bit unique and he’s not offensive). So maybe that is contributing to some word of mouth, kind of like the great Lana del Rey hot-or-not debates. Their concerts are supposed to be exceedingly violent.
I don’t know, this really just feels like more of a case of marketing than a band that truly warrants this much attention. I don’t have any sort of vendetta with Iceage. I think You’re Nothing is perfectly enjoyable. But when there’s a band like Joyce Manor out there doing exciting things with punk, why are these guys the ones getting the attention? I’ll stick to Open Your Heart.